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Wisconsin Split Pea Soup

Marjoram, garlic, potatoes and carrots blend nicely with peas in this hearty and economical soup. —Linda Rock, Stratford, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. + cooling Cook: 3 hours + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings (3 quarts)


  • 1 pound dried green split peas
  • 2-1/2 quarts water
  • 1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup each diced celery, carrots and potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Salt to taste


  • In a Dutch oven, add the peas, water and ham bone; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Set aside ham bone until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bone; discard bone. Cut ham into bite-size pieces. Return to the soup and heat through.

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Average Rating:
  • Newrecipejumkie2
    Nov 24, 2020

    I have made this soup numerous times and it is so good! As I said in a previous review, I put all the vegetables in at the beginning so they are well-cooked after the two hours. At that point, I take out the bone and mash the veggies with a masher while my husband cuts up the meat. End result is a beautifully thick soup. I am writing this additional review to say that today I used two chunks of ham about the size of a baseball each because I didn’t have a ham bone and that worked out perfectly.

  • Liz
    Nov 30, 2019

    As a Wisconsin resident for the past 10 years, I’d never heard that split pea was a local “thing” like cheese curds or fish frys. Still, although I grew up with split pea out of state, I thought I should try the local version. The taste of this recipe is fine, but I’m used to thick, hearty soup. This version is broth-like. I doubled the potato and cut it in small dice with the hopes of thickening it, and also cooked it with the lid off for the last 30 minutes. The flavor is fine, but I would serve this as a side dish with sandwiches and not as a main meal. Either that or cut the water in half. Today, I’ll add some dumplings.

  • pattyntodd
    Jan 23, 2016

    We absolutely love this soup. Twice a year at Christmas & Easter Trader Joe's sells their spiral ham. I always buy extra to freeze. Always use the hambone for this soup. The person who gave a one star below, perhaps they used too much marjoram as it can taste like a lemony oregano.

  • milljr1965
    Jan 4, 2016

    It's a great recipe, but it can be much better if you add 1 lb of cooked and cubed ham to the soup, so it would be more chunky.It's a keeper! Just need a little bit of tweaking on this recipe.

  • BobbysChicagoBAbe
    Sep 27, 2015

    Sorry, but this was the WORST split pea soup recipe I ever had or made. Had a lemony flavor, and I don't know how, since nothing lemony was in it. After my husband said it had too much of something, I tasted it, even tried a bowl, but couldn't even finish the bowl. Dumped the rest in the toilet. No stars here. And we LOVE a good split pea soup! Only added a star because otherwise it wouldn't post.

  • kaylenn2172
    Feb 14, 2015

    Excellent! My spouse normally hates split pea soup but she loved this.

  • silverfox2951
    Nov 15, 2014

    I've been making this soup since I found it in Taste of Home! That's been over 13 years ago! You can make the recipe as written or change it up to your liking . Either way it's always delicious!! Thank you Linda Rock for submitting it!!

  • marylouise216
    Oct 23, 2014

    This is by far the best pea soup recipe ever!! I've made it without meat and it is equally delicious. Don't know if you have ever tried yellow split peas, but they take pea soup to a whole new level, I very seldom use the green anymore, they have a slightly sweeter taste and are oh so smooth. I have also made this with smoked sausage, absolutely delicious............smokiness all through the soup. If you need to thicken your soup (once the soup is done) cook on high speed from 10 - 15 minutes, stirring constantly or the soup will stick and burn, and can't have that..................BON APPETITE!!

  • dmonte
    Oct 12, 2014

    I always use a potato masher to mash up the peas to make a thicker soup.I also use 1 quart vegetable broth along with water for a richer tasting soup. I use chopped ham instead of ham hocks. It is a good basic recipe that you can change and season to your taste.

  • BevL64
    Feb 22, 2014

    I have made this soup many times, and it is very good!!