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 split pea soup, set on a linen 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
  • 50 M
  • 10 H, 50 M
  • Serves 8 to 12

Special Equipment: Slow cooker

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups green split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 smoked ham hock (1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 to 4 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups cold water
  • Leaves from 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs, minced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, such as rice wine or sherry or apple cider or even plain old distilled vinegar, plus more to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.)
  • 5. 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.


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