Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup is warm, comforting, healthy, and hearty, loaded with ham, potatoes, and carrots. And best of all, it’s easy to make since your crockpot does all of the work!
We've been pretending around here...pretending that it actually feels like fall. But we're not pretending that a busy fall schedule has descended upon us -- noooo, that's reality, folks -- so I've been relying on my crockpot, now more than ever.
And what's easier to whip up in the slow cooker than a warm, comforting, perfect-for-fall (or perfect when you're pining for fall) soup? I particularly love throwing dried beans -- or in this case, dried split peas -- in the crock pot. Say hello to a supper that's hearty (and healthy!) but not heavy...Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup!
The ingredients for this split pea soup recipe are simple and straightforward.
- Dried green split peas. Yellow split peas will work if you can't find green. Either way, there's no need to soak 'em.
- Ham. Diced. This recipe happens to be a GREAT way to use up leftover holiday ham! Better yet, if you still have a ham bone, simmering it right in the soup during cooking will add depth of flavor.
- Potatoes. Peeled and diced.
- Carrots. I shred my carrots, rather than dicing them, to further assist their melt-into-the-soup action.
- Garlic. Minced. I always add extra!
- Chicken broth or stock. Or feel free to sub vegetable broth. For most slow cooker recipes calling for broth, I use my old standby: Organic Better Than Bouillon chicken (or turkey, or beef, or vegetable) base. It's pretty salty, so I initially use less than called for and then adjust to taste. And seldom do I feel the need to add more salt at the end when using Better Than Bouillon.
- Bay leaf + fresh minced parsley. For flavor
- Salt + freshly ground black pepper. To taste. How much salt you need to add at the end will depend on the saltiness of both your ham and your chicken broth.
Tweaking the Recipe
Slow cooker soups like this Crockpot Split Pea Soup are infinitely customizable, so add whatever makes it appealing to your family.
It makes me happy to be able to add other vegetables to this recipe, since they end up cooking down enough to be somewhat incognito. My kids eat their veggies without a fuss and I don't have to worry about extraneous vegetable side dishes to go with dinner that night. Win, win! So increase or change up the veggies as you wish. You could toss in some celery or onions…whatever floats your boat.
Additionally, you could opt to further boost the flavor of your Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup by stirring in a teaspoon of smoked paprika or a few generous dashes of hot sauce (such as Tabasco).
If you have smoked sausage (such as kielbasa), you can dice it up and add to your soup in lieu of the ham. You may opt to brown the sausage in a skillet before adding it to the soup, if you wish.
Diced smoked turkey is another possible substitute for the ham.
And finally, I personally love to stir a splash (about ½ teaspoon) of apple cider vinegar into my own bowl of split pea soup before enjoying it!
How to Make Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
This is seriously the easiest split pea soup recipe. The only real work involves a bit of chopping. Then simply toss your ingredients into the crockpot and let them cook away all day!
- Rinse and drain a pound of dried split peas, then place in the bottom of a slow cooker along with diced ham, potatoes, carrots, and garlic.
- Pour in chicken broth.
- Add a bay leaf and fresh minced parsley.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours...or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
- Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!
Adjusting the Consistency
It's easy to adjust the consistency of this Crockpot Split Pea Soup to your liking.
For a thinner soup, stir in a bit of additional broth.
For a thicker soup, use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup.
Alternatively, you can remove 1 to 2 cups of the soup to a blender, puree it, and then stir it back into the slow cooker. ***Just keep in mind that hot liquids can expand when blended, so be be sure to crack the lid of the blender and cover the opening with a folded kitchen towel to prevent possible splatters and burns.***
Storing Split Pea Soup
Leftover soup can be tightly covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This split pea soup recipe can also be frozen for up to three months. Transfer to freezer-safe containers or freezer-thickness plastic bags. If using bags, squeeze out any extra air, spread soup into a thin layer, and freeze flat. You can later stack frozen bags or stand them up in the freezer like books on a shelf.
I hope that this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup is yet another recipe that you'll be able to add to your arsenal of easy, tasty, healthy meals that will please your family while fitting into your busy schedule!
More Easy Slow Cooker Soups
- German Lentil Soup with Sausage
- Ham & Bean Soup
- Chicken & White Bean Chili
- Corn & Potato Chowder with Ham
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- 1 pound (16 ounces) dried green split peas, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups diced ham
- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 7 cups chicken broth or stock, or vegetable broth or stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup fresh parsley, minced (plus extra for garnish)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place dried split peas, ham, potatoes, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in bay leaf and parsley. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours (or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours) until peas are tender and broken down.
- Taste, add salt and pepper as needed, and garnish with additional fresh parsley, if desired. Leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- You can dice your carrots if you prefer more noticeable bites of carrot, but I like shredding mine because they practically melt into the soup and my kids don't spend time trying to avoid them.
- The amount of liquid in this recipe should be more than sufficient, but any time you cook a dried bean recipe in the crock pot for the first time, you'll want to check your water/broth level every once in awhile to make sure too much hasn't been soaked up by your beans/peas. If it has, just add more water/broth and stir. Some crock pots run hotter than others.
- The salt is added at the end of the recipe after tasting, since the soup may already be salty enough without it between the ham and the chicken broth.
- Once your soup is done, you may adjust the consistency to your liking by stirring in additional broth for a thinner soup. Or use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup to thicken it.
Adapted from Whole Foods Market.
Post originally published on September 13, 2013, and updated on October 11, 2022.