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Camellia Brand
a bowl of green split pea and ham soup with croutons in it and a side of bread

Green Split Pea and Ham Soup

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  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 large carrot, scraped and chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 (1-pound) package Camellia Brand Green Split Peas, rinsed and sorted
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of dried thyme and rosemary, crushed
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 7 cups of ham stock or chicken stock/broth
  • 1 teaspoon of Liquid Smoke, optional
  • 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 2 cups of smoked ham, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning, or to taste
Total time:
1 hour, 50 minutes
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour, 40 minutes
4-6 servings


  1. Cook the bacon in a soup pot, until fat is rendered but not until bacon is crisp.
  2. To the bacon and drippings, add the chopped onion, celery and carrot; cook over medium until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook another minute.
  3. Rinse and sort through the peas and add to the pot, along with the herbs and bay leaves. Cook and stir another minute, then add the stock or water, Liquid Smoke, if using, and ham hocks. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered on very low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chopped ham to the beans and simmer low for 30 minutes longer. Peas will have broken down and soup should be very thick. Remove bay leaves and discard.
  5. Add salt, pepper and Cajun or Creole seasoning; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Cook's Notes: May serve as is, or if you prefer a smoother texture, puree with an immersion blender or carefully transfer in batches to a food processor before adding in the ham. If you have the extra time and for a boost in flavor, use a leftover ham bone or a few meaty ham hocks to first make a ham stock as your soup base. Water may be substituted but add in 2 tablespoons of chicken base with the soup.

Pick meat off of the bone or hocks and use in the soup. May omit Liquid Smoke if using a homemade ham stock. In place of the thyme and rosemary, I use a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence.

Recipe from Mary Foreman, publisher and author of, an online blog about Southern cooking. Mary published her first cookbook, Deep South Dish Homestyle Southern Recipes in May 2015. It's a compilation of her most-loved and top southern favorite recipes, including several that are cookbook exclusives.