Split Pea Soup a La Julia Child

"This is the only split pea soup I've ever made more than once. The basic recipe comes from Julia's "The Way to Cook", and has a very clean, fresh flavor. It requires some work, but I like that I can freeze the ham stock and then make the soup at a later date without the murky taste of a lot of one pot pea soups."
photo by clevergirl3 photo by clevergirl3
photo by clevergirl3
photo by BecR2400 photo by BecR2400
photo by BecR2400 photo by BecR2400
Ready In:
5hrs 40mins




  • For the stock, put the ham hocks in a kettle with water to cover by 2 inches.
  • Make an herb bouquet with washed cheesecloth, using the bay leaves, thyme and cloves or allspice.
  • Put this in the pot, along with the carrots, onions and celery.
  • Simmer 3 to 4 hours with the kettle cover slightly open.
  • Or, simmer in crockpot for 8 hours on low.
  • Skim occasionally.
  • Strain and degrease.
  • Easiest way to degrease is to make ahead and chill, remove fat when cold.
  • Freeze if you want.
  • To make the soup, set a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter.
  • Saute the vegetables, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  • Blend in the flour and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and cool briefly, blend in the hot ham stock and the split peas.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring.
  • Cover and cook about 45 minutes until peas are tender.
  • Salt and pepper to taste after 1/2 hour of simmering.
  • When cooked, mash or puree the soup depending on the consistency you want.
  • Garnish with homemade croutons or sauteed ham bits if desired.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Peacefulone
    Really yummy. I used a amoked ham shank in my crock pot overnight, cooled then defatted the ham stock.Finished the soup the next day. It was a lovely bright flavored pea soup. I did add the ham from the shank at the end of the cooking. Perfect on a cold snowy Michigan afternoon! Thanks!
  2. Earth Mom
    This recipe is missing the 1/2 cup of minced turnip or rutabaga for the soup (you can also use potato). It adds a lot to the soup. AIso, pureeing the soup is optional. I find that the peas need to cook for about 1/2 hour more than called for. It's a fabulous soup!
  3. BecR2400
    What a fantastic split pea soup!! Nothing short of perfection, as is to be expected with a Julia Child recipe. Made using green split peas and a ham bone, and served with warm cornbread muffins. Loved the homemade ham stock, which made such a flavorful base for this soup. Perfect blend of seasonings, too. Thank you TCookie! Made for Herb of the Month - Bay Leaves.
  4. clevergirl3
    I made this in the crockpot overnight on low using a meaty hambone. I did not chop the vegetables for the BROTH. Followed the directions as written, otherwise. I would, however, add more peas the next time (additional 1/2 cup ?) as I thought it was a little thinner than I like. Very delicious!
  5. susie cooks
    I love pea soup and this one is great. I have never made a ham stock before and it is very good. I will definitely take your advice and make the stock to freeze for later use. I added the cooked ham. I also served it with big croutons and chunks of swiss cheese. I had it this way once in a restaurant on Long Island and loved it. Thanks for a delicious and fun to make recipe.


DH, DD and DS and I live in the golden hills outside San Jose, about an hour from the coast and Monterey/Carmel. We all love to eat- even the kids are reasonably adventurous. We love to travel- Napa Valley w/o the kids, Lake Tahoe with them. I have dozens of "favorite" cookbooks (does Recipezaar count?) but I keep coming back to "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan and "The Way to Cook" by the late, great, Julia Child. When I can, I get together with a couple of friends and make Ukrainian dyed eggs.
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