- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook 3 min., until beginning to soften. Mix in carrots, celery, split peas, salt and pepper. Stir in broth. Bring just to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, 30 to 40 min., or until peas and vegetables are tender.
- Use an immersion blender to purée soup until smooth. Stir in ham, lemon juice and thyme. Heat soup on low heat, 3 to 4 min., or until ham is warmed through. If soup is too thick, stir in an extra 1/2 cup (125 mL) to 1 cup (250 mL) water. Serve topped with croutons, if desired.
Tip: For a spicier soup, stir in a seeded and finely diced jalapeño pepper when adding carrots.