Split Pea Soup with Ham & Barley

Hearty barley, split peas and ham give this classic soup a comforting appeal that will stick to your ribs long after you've scraped the final spoonful from your bowl.

Photo: Joanne Tsakos

By Lisa Howard

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes


  • 3/4 cup dry yellow split peas
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 28 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 cup quick-cooking pearl barley
  • 1/2 lb low-sodium, nitrate-free, lean cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 green onions, green parts only, minced


  1. In a medium pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil on high heat. Add peas and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat oil on medium for 1 minute. Add Spanish onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, 1/2 cup water, carrots, sage and barley. Bring to a boil on high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  3. To stockpot, add ham and peas, stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until heated through. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.

Nutrients per serving (1 1/2-cup split pea soup): Calories: 460, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 77 g, Fiber: 22 g, Sugars: 9 g, Protein: 28 g, Sodium: 590 mg, Cholesterol: 25 mg



Refrigerate leftover soup for three to four days or keep frozen for up to three months. If it gets a bit too thick upon standing, simply stir in additional broth or water while reheating.

  • Melissa

    Delicious – true comfort food. A great way to use up leftover ham. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great. Be sure to use quick-cooking barley though – I tried it once with regular barley and the proportions were off.

  • Monica Whipps

    I made this a few weeks ago, he hated it! It was too bland and he refused to eat it :(



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