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Ham & Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons

by Maria

I absolutely love Ham & Split Pea Soup! It’s not only comforting, but it’s also a great way to use up leftovers after a holiday feast or a large dinner party. After cooking up a big meal, I usually have a bit of the main protein leftover as well as a handful of prepped vegetables, which makes soup the obvious choice for dinner the next day.

My name is Anne Assassi, MS, RDN.  I am a private practice dietitian and health coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lover of home-cooked culinary creations, I was excited to make a nutritious meal with ham (which you might have leftover from your holiday meal). You can find more about me and my recipes over at Diet Assassinista.

Now are you ready for some delicious soup?

Ham & Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons

Do you know what I love about Ham & Split Pea Soup? It’s loaded with healthful ingredients! In just prepping my mise en place, I filled an entire small mixing bowl with onions, garlic, carrots, thyme, and celery, and another small bowl with potatoes.

We’re literally looking at over three pounds of vegetables here when you include the spit peas! As a dietitian, there’s pretty much nothing that makes me happier than seeing a mise en place on the table like this one because I can really get a good gauge of how many vegetables I’m consuming.

Aside from the amazing nutrition content, which helps to balance out the bacon (!), my recipe for ham and spit pea soup below is so delicious that you’re going to want to make it after every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinner! What’s my secret ingredient, you ask?

You might be surprised, but it’s Pig’s Feet! Pig’s Feet are a delicious and inexpensive addition to any soup because they add an incredible depth of flavor. Don’t have pig’s feet? Fear not! You can a use leftover ham bone, or simply fill your pot up with chicken broth instead of water.

Just promise me you’ll try pig’s feet sometime, okay?

So whether you’re cooking up a storm this Easter, or have already sent out your summer dinner party invites out, be sure to add this recipe to your arsenal and put it to good use this year. Your tummy will thank you!

Ham & Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons

Ham & Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons

  • Time: 2 Hours
  • Serves 8



  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ cups celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 lb dried split peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups ham steak, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1 pig’s split pig’s foot or 1 ham bone


Herbed Croutons

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 petit baguette, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 cup Parmesan-Reggiano, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


To Garnish

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling



In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add bacon and heat over medium-low heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels. Cool, and break into bacon bits. Set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tbsp bacon drippings and heat pot over medium heat. Add onions, leeks, garlic, celery, carrots, and thyme. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes, until carrots have softened.

Add vermouth to the stockpot and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until vermouth has mostly evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Add split peas, potatoes, chopped ham, bay leaf, and pig’s foot. Cover entirely with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water if too thick, 1.5 hours, until split peas are soft. Discard pig’s foot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, set your oven rack to the top position. Preheat your broiler. Add baguette slices to a baking sheet and brush the top sides with melted butter. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Flip croutons over and sprinkle with Parmesan, sage, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to oven, and broil for 1-2 more minutes, until cheese has melted.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle soup with olive oil and garnish with thyme leaves, reserved bacon bits, and crème fraîche. Serve with herbed croutons.

Ham & Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons

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Ham and Split Pea Soup with Herbed Croutons. Perfect every time.


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Jay @ JayTriedAndTrue April 14, 2017 - 3:10 am

I love split pea soup, but have never thought about croutons..yum! I would love you to share this with Smell Good Sunday http://jaytriedandtrue.blogspot.com/2017/04/smell-good-sunday-15.html

Ashley @ Sweetpea Lifestyle April 15, 2017 - 6:44 pm

Hi, Maria! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMatters party! I LOVE split pea soup, and can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks to Easter, split pea soup is planned for Monday! 😉

Twochicksandamom/Donna April 20, 2017 - 3:20 pm

Wow, this looks awesome! Will be pinning and making this in the near future! Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

Aglaia September 27, 2019 - 12:37 am

I start this soup with plenty of onions, carrots, and celery softened in butter and simmer it all with thyme leaves, dried bay leaves, and chicken stock.

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