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.
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Quick Glance
- 50 M
- 10 H, 50 M
- Serves 8 to 12
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.)
HOW TO MAKE THIS SPLIT PEA SOUP ON THE STOVETOP
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!