Ham and Split Pea Soup

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
20 min
1 hr 20 min

8 servings

  • 1 pound dried split peas
  • 1 ham hock
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound Smithfield ham, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Parmesan Truffled Potato Chips, recipe follows
  • Parmesan Truffled Potato Chips:
  • 2 pounds red bliss potatoes, scrubbed well and patted dry, skins left on
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain the peas and set aside.

Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve immediately with Parmesan Truffled Chips on top.

Parmesan Truffled Potato Chips:

Using a mandolin or very sharp, heavy knife, slice the potatoes into rounds as thin as possible, and place in a large bowl of water to prevent discoloration.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot to between 340 and 350 degrees F.

Pat the potatoes completely dry. Add to the oil in batches and cook until golden brown, stirring with a long handled spoon to turn and cook evenly, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and place in a large bowl. Toss with the cheese, truffle oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

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Jammy, earthy red wine

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    125 Reviews
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    Loved it! Emeril never fails me. :-)
    Emily is spot-on, finishing with file and Old Bay takes this great recipe to the next level. 
    I sub'd toasted croutons for the chips, seasoned the same.... works great, saves time. 
    Also, don't toss then hock stock, Use that for your liquid.
    Delicious!! I used 4 cups of the ham stock & 4 cups chicken broth for the liquid. I waited to put the 1 pound of chopped ham in until the very end, that way I could use my immersion blender on the soup. Then added the ham & let simmer for another 1/2 hr.
    2nd time making it. Great recipe. Hope it taste as good as the first time. Yummy
    We thought this was good. I added 1 clove of minced garlic and used only 1 onion. I used 6 cups chicken broth and 2 cups of water.
    This is our favorite recipe EVER!!
    I added a teaspoon of gumbo filé, and a teaspoon of blackened cajun seasoning, and it turned out great.
    Fantastic! First time I have ever made split pea soup. I had a lot of leftover smoked ham from Christmas and needed to use it up. I did not pre soak the peas a head of time and it turned out great. I did add a little more black pepper and red pepper flakes and feel that really helped the flavor. Will be making this again!
    Oh and I used half chicken stock and half water
    THANK YOU EMERILL THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME SOUP.... E V E R! I've made this recipe now several times and there is no substitute in my opinion for the smoked ham hock. I used 2 this time and it brings all the flavor. You don't have to soak the peas overnight. I brought them to a boil in just enough water to emerse them plus an inch or two then let them soak for 90 minutes before I started. Make sure and wash them really good and save this water you soak them in and the water you use for the ham hock to reuse in the soup. I doubled the red pepper and the garlic and at the end the soup went in the food processor to liquify everything. Y U M. Try garlic croutons on top and ciabatta bread to dunk.
    First time I attempted Split Pea soup and hubby said "Best Split Pea Soup EVER!" followed directions exactly. The peas soaked overnight and took two hours to simmer off.
    My husband told yesterday that he didn't like split pea soup. Tonight he had thirds... Enough said!!
    Wish they would give a temerature with which to cook and cover or not
    This soup is so delicious! I used chicken stock for the base and leftover spiral ham. I rinsed the ham before I added it but it still had a little sweetness which added a nice taste!
    This is the first split pea soup I ever made and it's the only one I make now. I use smoked turkey legs or wings instead of ham hocks. This last time I also added parsnips. My stock is a homemade chicken stock too, simmered till there is nothing of value left in the veggies and meat. I highly suggest doubling the recipe and throwing it all in a crock pot for the work day. You must salt it as he recommends. It takes the soup from really good to magical. Fresh thyme is a definite plus too.
    Substitute yellow split peas for the few that are Linda Blair fans and the 50/50 split with chicken broth and H2O makes a slightly richer soup. Drop the celery and add 2X the carrots for more sweetness. Emeril kicks butt and so does this recipe.
    This was amazing - so full of flavor - and I really did need to modify a thing. Instead of Smithfield's ham, I just got a pound of Black Forest Ham from our neighborhood deli. Had them cut into thick slices so the cubing would be quick. Fresh herbs from the garden make all the difference. None were overpowering. Our family liked this recipe from Emeril much more than his very similar Black Eyed Pea Soup recipe, even though the ingredients were very similar. That one is also tasty, but we must prefer the flavor of the split peas versus the other type. YUM! Next time I'll make a double batch.
    I was cleaning out my freezer and found an Easter ham bone. I did a little recipe research and settled on this one. Even though the soaking was an inconvenient thought at first, I decided to follow the recipe exactly. This pea soup is fabulous and by far one of my favorite recipes. The texture of some of the peas as well as the vegetables makes this a very hearty (not mushy soup. Plus, the red pepper flakes and garlic bring a little heat and some big flavor. Two bowls later, my husband agreed. Forget about those recipes on the back of the bags of dried peas; this one hits the spot. Double fist bump, Emeril!
    Really good, this is the second time I made it for my hubby, he love it and so do I.
    I have made this soup so many times. It is easy and tastes so good. Yea! it doesn't call for nutmeg! We are not a fan of pea soups with nutmeg. I sometimes increase the pepper flake for more zip, but usually leave the recipe alone.  
    Add a grilled cheese sandwich or a salad and you have perfect dinner for a cool evening. Make extra and package for your relatives.
    Thanks Emeril, I had forgoten how wonderful this soup is!
    This recipe was delicious. I only changed a couple of small things. Instead of putting the chopped ham in at the beginning I added it in at the end before serving and after pureeing the soup. We served it with sour cream. Even my son ate it and I didn't think he would! Very good.
    This was a very good recipe. I would consider cutting down on the amount of thyme used. I did not soak my peas but followed the instructions on the package. Otherwise a very good soup recipe with good flavoring which does not get to thick. I will definitly make this again.
    Absolutely delicious! I doubled the recipe & added chopped potatoes. Time consuming but very easy & well worth the time. I will definitely be making this again soon!
    The best Split Pea Soup recipe that I have found! I did not soak the peas, just rinsed and picked through them. Instead of using 8 cups of water, I used 4 cups of homemade chicken stock and 4 cups water. I only used 1/2 cup of chopped ham, which seemed to be plenty. I omitted the garlic. I usually use garlic but didn't have any on hand. It was so delicious without it that I think that I will continue to omit it from this recipe in the future. I also liked the little kick that the crushed red pepper flakes gave. I am making another batch today to freeze in individual servings for a great rainy day lunch or light dinner or supper.
    I used left over ham that I had and it turned out delicious. A great recipe. I will definitely make it again.
    This recipe is so delicious. Now I have to make 2 large stockpots of this soup every weekend after Thanksgiving for my family and relatives. It's become a traditional and they all bring their leftover ham bones for me to use. I also use only the ham bone stock instead of water. And it's such a simple/easy recipe which makes it all the better.
    This was the best split pea soup! Even though it takes some prep for the peas and ham hock it was well worth it. Like another review my husband claimed he did not like split pea soup, but he ate 2 helpings:
    This soup was great. Nice twist with the garnish.yum enjoy on a cold night
    I love this soup! My biggest frustration is that these recipes don't give you size of serving or nutritional information. It seems that most people these days are watching calories. At least give us that???
    This soup is absolutely delicious! My husband, who swore he hated split pea soup, raved about it. I used the stock from the ham, as other reviewers suggested, as it would be such a waste to discard the tasty stock. Since I didn't want to wait 8 hrs decor the dried peas to soak, I used the quick soak method; place rinsed peas in a saucepan, cover with cold water, 2" above the level of the peas, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 min. Remove from heat and let the peas sit for 1 hr. Drain and use as recipe directs. I will definitely make this soup again!
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