Split Pea Soup Recipe with Ham and Poblano Pepper

Bowl of split pea ham and poblano pepper soup

A hearty, robust split pea soup recipe perfect for a winter supper. A great way to use up leftover holiday ham, or start fresh with a chunk from the deli. The poblano pepper adds just enough punch to make this stand out from the ordinary split pea soup. I include stovetop, Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions.

Poblano peppers are healthy, nutrient-rich and low calorie. The peppers in this dish add extra vitamin C and A to your diet and, while they have a bit of a punch, are not too hot and even kids (at least mine) like them.

I prefer making this soup when I have leftover holiday ham. At least twice every year I buy a large spiral cut Amana ham. These come from an old German region of Iowa, my home state. My parents used to send me a ham every year, but now I order my own. There is not a better ham anywhere. Their bacon is awesome as well.

This easy and fast soup works for a weeknight (especially the Instant Pot or slow cooker versions), or a weekend full of other activities. It saves well and can be made ahead 1-2 days. Leftovers are perfect for next-day lunches.

I recommend serving this with corn muffins or crusty, dense bread to wipe the bowl. A fresh crisp salad rounds out the meal.

If you like this recipe or have a love of peppers you may also like my Zesty Pork and Poblano Pepper Stew or Casserole recipe.


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Bowl of split pea with ham and poblano pepper

Split Pea and Ham Soup with Poblano Pepper

  • Author: Sandra
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A classic no-bone needed split pea soup with a slight punch. I served this to my book club and they all wanted the recipe.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 medium onion (diced small)
  • 1/2 small bag baby carrots (chopped (or 23 regular carrots))
  • 2 stalks Celery (chopped small)
  • 1 poblano pepper (1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 teas salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teas pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups dried green split peas (one 16 oz bag=2cups)
  • 32 oz chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teas dried thyme
  • 816 oz ham (use high quality ham, cut in 1/2 inch dice. WIth or without bone is fine)


Stove top

  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or soup pot on medium
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and pepper and saute until onions are translucent (5-10 minutes)
  3. Add salt and pepper
  4. Add stock/broth and water, bay leaves and thyme
  5. Add diced ham
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the peas are mushy.

Instant Pot

  1. Saute the vegetables as above
  2. Add remaining ingredients
  3. Set to manual, high pressure for 15 minutes
  4. Use natural release for 10-15 minutes

Slow Cooker

  1. Saute vetegables and add to slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours


This soup is a delicious spin on classic split pea soup. The poblano pepper adds just a hint of a punch. If you want more punch add or substitute 1-3 jalepenos as well.

Corn muffins or any crusty/rustic bread goes well with this soup.

Use high quality ham. If buying at the deli counter ask them to slice 1/2 inch thick and dice from there. This is also a great recipe to use up leftover holiday ham (my favorite comes from amanameatshop.com)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 120 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for a fabulous dessert to serve with your soup? I know you will enjoy this easy cake.

Blueberry Orange Loaf Cake

Fresh, aromatic, and oh so delicious, this simple orange loaf cake smells as good baking as it tastes. I’ve made it for decades and it’s always a hit.

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