How do I make split pea soup with ham hock?

A few questions. Dried green split peas are soaking right now. Do you add the dried peas to the stock or do you boil them first? Also if I put the ham bone in the stock with my carrot celery onion and then remove it. Will I not have a ton of fat? I’ve never done it before and I have to make it for dinner tonight! It’s 3:30 now. HELP!

  • Posted by: Tasha
  • April 3, 2020


Deborah L. April 16, 2020
If I make a ham for a family event, I save the bone in the freezer for split pea soup. Or, if you are partial to Honey Baked Ham, save the bone, and add to the soup.

Another suggestion: buy ham and cut it into smallish pieces and add to the split pea soup as you are cooking it. I do not add water to the split peas except to soak them the night before. I rinse the split peas after the overnight soak and add chicken broth rather than water, and then the ham. Black forest style bacon crumbled when serving.
Barbara April 12, 2020
What’s the difference between making a “ham broth” and just using the entire ham bone along with water/+or chicken broth? Seems the flavor would be the same and quicker
HalfPint April 3, 2020
Here is how I have always made split pea soup:
- make a broth with the ham bone by simmering the bone in about 6-8 cups water for about 2 hours. You can also make the broth in a slow cooker (6 hrs on LOW or 3 hrs on HIGH). You can skim off the fat and scum as the broth is simmering.
- take out the bone. Pick off any meat that might be left and add back to the broth. Add the peas, onions, carrots, and celery (& maybe a bay leaf) to the broth. Cook until the peas have mostly disintegrated.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Don't over-salt. The ham will often provide plenty of salt to the soup. I err on the side of caution and don't add any salt if the soup tastes a little bland. My split pea also seems to get saltier as it sits there.

I don't presoak the dried peas but the soup will come together faster if you do.

To your last question: is there a ton of fat in the final soup? Depends on how much fat there is on the bone. Usually there isn't much fat left on the ham bone. If yours does have a lot of fat attached, cut it off prior to simmering. You can always make the broth first, refrigerate, and remove the fat the next day (it's easier). Or you can try to skim off the soup as it cooks. I don't see a lot of fat my split pea, but then there usually isn't much fat left on the bone.

Let us know how the soup turns out :)
HalfPint April 3, 2020
Sorry, I see that you have a ham hock. Thought you had a ham bone. In any case, I would do the same with a ham hock. Skim off the fat as the broth simmers :)
Tasha April 4, 2020
Thank you! It turned out great. I boiled them simmered the bone. For 2 hours. Then took the meat off the bone and simmered just the bones in the stock for another hour. I then sautéed the mirepoix with garlic and bay leaf and thyme, added the soaked peas and deglazed with chicken stock while I waited for the fat to come to the surface in my bone broth. Combined the two. Then when peas were where they should be at I added 4 cups ham. Simmered for awhile longer then it was ready. Turned out amazing!
Tasha April 4, 2020
Oh and added fresh parsley at the end :)
Sallie A. April 13, 2020
What a lot of trouble these suggestions are! Get a crockpot/slowcooker, throw in your hamhock, add peas and water according to standard ratio of water to dried peas. ( i think its 3 to one water to peas) and let it cook at good simmer for a couple hours. Add chopped carrots and celery, salt to taste, a sprinkle of celery seeds and simmer another hour or two until all is velvety and eat. Delish! About the easiest yummy to eat thing to cook ever.
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