Thursday, November 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup. Yay or nay? I am a huge fan. But, I don't make this soup often because I have a couple of children who would rather be forced into a ten hour marathon of household chores than eat a soup with peas as the main ingredient. {My daughter asked if I was actually going to post this on my blog because she was so grossed out by this soup.}
I adore the simplicity of the ingredients, how inexpensive this soup is to make and I like how wonderful this soup cooks up using the slow cooker. {My loyal readers are aware of my love affair with my slow cooker.}

People do seem to either really love split pea soup or they absolutely despise it. For those who adore it, this recipe is a real winner.

This soup can be made using a chunk of leftover ham, a hambone, ham hocks or salt pork. {It's a great soup to make after you've had a big ham dinner.} If using salt pork that is sliced, use some kitchen string to tie it up so that it doesn't all come apart during cooking.

You can make the soup as thick, thin, chunky or smooth as you prefer. Simply adjust the stock amount as the soup cooks or towards the end of cooking to suit your preference. And, blend the soup as much as you prefer to suit your preference.

Yields 6 servings.


3/4 - 1 pound of leftover ham {preferably left in a large chunk for easy removal when blending soup later}, ham hocks, salt pork {tied if sliced} or a hambone
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds {24 ounces} dried split peas, sorted and rinsed
Leaves of 2 - 3 thyme sprigs and/or 1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ham base {optional - gives the soup a more-prominent ham flavor}
11 - 13 cups chicken stock {see AUTHOR'S TIP above}
Heavy cream, for drizzling on soup at time of service


Add all ingredients except for cream into a 5 - 6 quart slow cooker. {Stock addition not shown below.}

Cook on LOW for 7 - 8 hours or HIGH for 5 - 6 hours.

Remove ham chunk, ham bone, salt pork or ham hocks. {If there's meat that you'd like to put back into the soup, shred or chop it into small pieces and add it back in once soup has been blended.}

Remove and discard thyme stems/bay leaf.

Use an immersion blender right in the slow cooker to blend the soup. Blend as little or much as desired. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in a blender by working in small batches {only fill the blender half full each time and allow ventilation on the lid}. 

Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Return ham, as desired, back into the soup.

Drizzle each bowl of soup with heavy cream at time of service.

09/28/17: Updated photos and made clarifications to recipe/post.


  1. I am going to try this. Split pea soup is my favorite and I have made it for 60 years with a faithful recipe but I want to try yours. Looks yummy. Lulu

  2. Have you ever added potatoes in your pea soup?

    1. Hi, Heather. I don't think I ever have. Sounds good, though.