Go Back
+ servings
Soup in serving bowl with spoon.

Split Pea and Lentil Soup

Comforting cool weather soup with split peas, lentils, bacon and ham. Easy to make on the stovetop or in the pressure cooker.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword lentil soup, split pea and lentil soup, split pea soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 389kcal
Author Kelly Wildenhaus


  • 3 pieces thick cut bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot
  • ½ cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well to remove any sand
  • ¼ cup chopped celery and leaves
  • ¾ cup dried split peas and ¾ cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 6 - 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 smoked ham shank pieces
  • ½ russet potato, shredded
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed to release flavor
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.  Reserve about a tablespoon or so of fat in the pot.
  • Add onion, carrot and leeks to pot.  Sprinkle with some salt and cook until vegetables have softened and lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Stir in bay leaves and thyme, and then add the split peas and lentils, celery and reserved bacon.  Cover with the chicken stock.  Add the shredded potato and ham hock, season with more salt and some pepper, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover with lid slightly askew.
  • Skim any foam that rises to the surface during the first 10-15 minutes.  Stir occasionally and simmer for another 45 minutes or until the split peas and lentils are tender.  Add more stock if the soup seems too thick.
  • Remove ham shanks, cool slightly and cut up meat and add back to the soup.  
  • Check for seasoning and serve.


To make in the Instant Pot:
  1. On sauté setting, cook the bacon until crisp and fat is rendered, remove from pot and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon of fat in pot.  Add carrots, onion and leeks, a sprinkle of salt, and cook until softened.  Turn off sauté function. Stir in bay leaf and thyme, split peas and lentils, celery and reserved bacon.  Cover with 7 cups of chicken stock and stir in shredded potato.  Add ham shanks and season with a little salt and pepper.
  2. Seal pressure cooker and set for 20 minutes at high pressure.  Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.  Open pot and remove ham shanks to cutting board.  Stir soup thoroughly and taste for seasonings.  Cut ham off the bone into pieces and return to soup.  Enjoy!
  3. Prep time is the same, about 15 minutes, and about 10 minutes of sautéing.  It takes about 15 - 20 minutes to come to pressure, then cook for 20 minutes, then pressure release of about 15 - 20 minutes.  Total time start to finish, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.


Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 938mg | Potassium: 1019mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1989IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg