Split Pea with Ham Soup (#SoupSwappers)

Split Pea with Ham Soup recipe, split peas, ham, stock, brandy, carrots, onion, celery, thyme, holiday cooking, thanksgiving leftover, leftovers soup

Split Pea with Ham Soup

This month’s theme is “Memory Soups” and my recipe for Split Pea with Ham Soup is chock full of wonderful memories. 

Wendy, from A Day in the Life on the Farm, is not only the founder of our little group of Soup Saturday Swappers, she is the host for this month’s theme of Memory Soups. Her instructions to us were:

“Share a soup that has special memories for you. Perhaps it is a soup that was served each holiday season. Maybe the soup your Mom or Grandma gave you when you were sick. A soup from a special dinner date or vacation. Share not only the recipe but the memories associated with it.”

Here’s why I love Split Pea Soup with Ham: Back when I was a City Girl/Career Girl, living in Nashville, there was a little restaurant located on Union Street downtown that has been around forever serving the business crowds. Satsuma Tea Room was one of my favorite lunch haunts.

Every Thursday their menu would include an offering of half an honest to goodness, oven-roasted, thick-sliced turkey sandwich and a bowl of Split Pea with Ham Soup. The turkey sandwich always reminded me of my favorite thing about Thanksgiving leftovers: the first turkey sandwich!

So, most Thursdays you’d find me in Satsuma with a bowl of Split Pea with Ham Soup and Half a Turkey Sandwich. It was my favorite thing. In. The. World.

That got me thinking, though, one year after Thanksgiving. I had all the fixin’s to replicate that favorite lunch of mine! I had oven-roasted turkey! I had ham! I could make some Split Pea with Ham Soup to go along with my first Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich!

It’s been a tradition for me to make Split Pea with Ham Soup on Thanksgiving weekend ever since. The soup is a fixture for supper the night I decorate our fifteen foot Christmas tree!

After I carve all the meat off my turkey carcass, and make a nice stock to freeze, I take some of that stock to make this soup. Of course, you could use chicken stock (and I do when I don’t have turkey stock on hand). The stock really adds so much flavor to the soup!

Another flavor bump comes from the addition of the brandy. I also use vermouth, often. You could use a dry white wine as well. But do add one of the three. Additionally, the thyme and marjoram are perfect in this soup; they really brighten the split pea flavor.

I hope you’ll try my recipe for Split Pea with Ham Soup. I modeled it after my favorite soup, from my favorite lunch spot from back in the day.


Split Pea with Ham Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I make this thick, rich soup every year after Thanksgiving (and many times in between). It's great served with that first Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich!
Recipe type: soup
  • 1 pound bag split green peas, washed, picked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 ounces stock (I used turkey or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 big sprig fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with butcher's twine* (or ½ teaspoon dried leaves)
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram leaves
  • 8 ounces cooked ham, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • additional water as needed for desired consistency
  1. In a medium-sized stock pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, water, brandy, thyme, marjoram and split peas, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add the diced ham, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover and continue to simmer watching to see if any additional water is needed to reach your desired consistency.
  7. Continue to simmer until the peas are soft, completely soft, but not completely dissolved. Do not puree.
This saves time, since as the soup cooks, the thyme leaves will fall off the stems on their own and you can just remove the tied bundle of stems later.

Also, check out the other contributions to Memory Soups in the links below:

In linkz code

About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
This entry was posted in Beans, Entrée, Holiday Cooking, Living in Elegant Simplicity, Saucy Southerner Recipes, Soups, Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Split Pea with Ham Soup (#SoupSwappers)

  1. Wendy Klik says:

    Well now I can’t wait to make pea soup again so I can try adding some brandy to it!! Thanks for joining in the fun today.

  2. Sid says:

    Love split pea soup, and I have some in the freezer waiting to be eaten right now. I made some last month, and since I’m the only one who eats it in this house, I don’t have to share. I’ve never used the green peas and maybe I’ll give them a whirl, once this batch is gone. The brandy addition sounds interesting. hmmmm

  3. Kathy Walker says:

    I have never added a touch of brandy or vermouth to split pea soup but I know that I am going to give it a try soon! Love your memory and how it became part of your tradition!

  4. Colleen says:

    Booze in soup…you’re my kind of girl! And oh my gosh, does that sandwich and soup combo every sound perfect! Which reminds me, I haven’t eaten lunch and I’m starving! Too bad I don’t have any turkey hanging out in my fridge!!!

  5. Barrie says:

    I have added vermouth to soups or sherry but never brandy and not in pea soup! Great idea for my next batch!

  6. This looks SO fantastic. I can’t wait to try it. We love split pea, but I don’t think I’ve ever added booze to it. Will try it immediately!

  7. This is one of my most favorite soups ever since I was a kid. It looks delicious and so perfect for the frigid temps we are having!

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