Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow cooker split pea soup with ham is traditional winter comfort food made easy. Just toss everything in a Crock pot and walk away. You’re welcome.

A white bowl filled with slow cooker split pea soup on a napkin.

This slow cooker split pea soup is a creamy bowl of traditional winter comfort food. The soup features all the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs goodness of classic split pea soup, including ham, but with the added boon that you simply toss everything in Crock pot and walk away. All that’s left to do is accept the dinnertime hero award. [Editor’s Note: No slow cooker? No problem. Check out the stovetop instructions beneath the recipe.] Originally published March 23, 2017.Angie Zoobkoff

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

  • Quick Glance
  • (8)
  • 50 M
  • 10 H, 50 M
  • Serves 8 to 12
5/5 - 8 reviews
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Special Equipment: Slow cooker



Dump the split peas in your slow cooker and nestle the ham hock into the split peas. Pile in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and then tuck in the bay leaves. Season with pepper and pour the water over the top.

Set your slow cooker to low and walk away for about 10 hours. When the soup is done, it will be thick and creamy and the split peas should be soft and broken down. If the split peas still seem pretty firm, crank your slow cooker to high and check it every hour or so until the peas soften.

Fish out the bay leaves and discard them. Remove the ham hock and place it on a plate until it’s cool enough to handle. Discard the skin, bones, and any cartilage. Shred the ham.

If desired, use an immersion blender to purée the soup to the desired consistency. Stir in the shredded ham, thyme, frozen peas, and vinegar. Continue to cook on low until the frozen peas are heated through, about 15 minutes. Taste and add up to 1 teaspoon salt, depending on how salty your ham hock. (Don’t be shy with the salt. It really brings out the flavor of the soup. Trust us.)

Ladle the soup into bowls right away or let it cool and cover and refrigerate it for up to several days and be amazed at how much richer the soup tastes after the flavors have a chance to meld. (Alternately, you can portion the soup into individual resealable plastic bags or containers and toss them in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

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    • No slow cooker? No problem! Follow the first step of the recipe, using a Dutch oven in place of a slow cooker. Cover and bring the soup to a gentle boil on the stove while your oven preheats to 325°F (163°C). Slide the Dutch oven into the oven and let it cook for about 2 1/4 hours. You may want to give the soup a stir at about the 1-hour mark. The soup is ready when the split peas have broken down, making the soup creamy and rich while at the same time resembling something in between a soup and a stew. Remove the pot from the oven continue with the above recipe at step 3 and, in step 4, simply finish the soup on the stovetop as opposed to the slow cooker.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Who doesn't like soup? This slow cooker split pea soup was perfect for a cold winter afternoon alongside some crusty bread. You can easily plan ahead and make this to reheat whenever needed. I chopped the vegetables and threw in all the ingredients the night before, turned the slow cooker to low, and woke up to the wonderful aroma of soup brewing downstairs. Altogether it only took 40 minutes—or less—for me to assemble everything and then I let it cook for 10 hours while I slept and dreamt of soup. You probably could leave it in for an hour or two less if you’re short on time. Just make sure your slow cooker can hold at least 5 liters as the recipe makes quite a bit of soup. You could easily halve the recipe if desired. It made more than enough for my family of 5—we had almost half the batch left over. I used rice wine vinegar but I think any type of vinegar would work fine as long as you don't mind it discoloring the soup a tiny bit if using a dark colored vinegar. Be generous with the pepper. I found that I had to add more than imagined. I also added about 1 tsp of sea salt, which helped the flavor immensely. I kept the ham skin, contrary to what the recipe suggested. I chopped it up and put it back in the soup along with the meat. If you don't like the texture, do as the recipe says and leave it out.

    We really LOVED this slow cooker split pea soup round here. It couldn't be easier to prepare and the payoff was wonderful. Not only is the soup tasty, just like Mother used to make, but having it cook for nearly half a day filled our home with incredible scents, transporting me back to my childhood. I used a simple distilled white vinegar but you could use nearly any vinegar that suits your fancy. I found the finished product, although delicious and classic, to be in need of salt. Being FAR too lazy to walk 10 paces for the shaker, I merely tipped a bit of soy sauce into my bowl. My wife, feeling adventurous, added some Sriracha and was quite pleased with the result. We enjoyed 2 FAT bowls on the first evening and had enough left over not only for lunch the next afternoon but we were able to freeze at least 3 or four bowls for a nice warm-me-up in the near future. I nearly forgot to mention that I found the late addition of frozen peas to be a stroke of genius, adding some flavor and a nice amount of texture. Make this soup, you'll LOVE it!


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    1. Perfect as written, and I’m usually a recipe-tweaker. No need to change a thing. Subtle flavors that work incredibly well together. I made this on Friday for a Saturday Halloween dinner and glad I waited the extra day as so many have recommended.

    2. G’day from Perth, Western Australia! Made this last night and woke to the most delectable aromas in the morning. Perfect with a crusty sour dough loaf on this cold wintery Perth night with the rain falling and fire raging! Love the site, the recipes and the fact you also have the metric option for us down under 🙂

      1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Dean. Split pea soup is indeed perfect for a cold winter night, and we’re so glad you loved it. Can’t wait to hear what you try next!

    3. I doubled this and made it in my slow cooker – over about 10 hours. It was genuinely delicious. Froze several quart jars and kept the rest in the fridge – got better over a day or two. It was perfect to have on hand for easy lunches over the holidays with family around — pick up a mug, a hunk of bread and have a seat.

      1. Julie, magnificent! Love that you made it and loved it! And yes, as with most things (and people), this soup improves with age. Thrilled to hear that you will be continuing to appreciate this. Greatly appreciate you taking the time to let us know!

    4. Made this today with one little substitution…I had to add some of those little lentils as I had not enough split peas. I love my Crock pots (yes, I said pots, haha. I have 3—-medium, big and bigger–and they are all well loved). I served this with an Asiago bread and zero leftovers!!

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