Like a big hug from grandma, this old fashioned slow cooker split pea soup is chock-full of veggies, cubes of ham and yellow split peas for one comforting, belly-warming, meal!
I grew up on yellow split pea soup (as well as cod au gratin and boiled beans). My grandmother always made pea soup, typically with doughboys (which are flour-based dumplings plopped right in the pot on top of the soup; they cook up nice and fluffy).
I don’t serve my ham and pea soup with doughboys (though I enjoy them). I’d much rather save the belly room for another bowl of soup. You gotta weigh your foodie options, am I right?
Years ago, I’m talking about 20 years, when I wasn’t as experienced in the kitchen as I am now, I decided to make pea soup on the stovetop. After all, I grew up with the stuff, right?
Then, I went outside … to wash the car!
What?! Yeah, not good to say the least. These days I’d like to think I’m a little more sensible, but only by a tad. Ha!
My cooking skills have improved considerably since then. However, there are things I’d still prefer to be blissfully unaware of, ya know, like calories in a glass of wine or in a brownie, LOL.
Nowadays, I make my split pea soup in the slow cooker. And, guess what? I can leave it for a bit!! Ha!
How To Make Pea Soup
When I tell you this split pea soup is easy, I’m not lying (not that I’d ever do that to you, anyway, but you know what I mean).
You literally place all the ingredients in a slow cooker, turn on low and that’s it. Dump and go.
After everything has cooked, remove and discard bay leaves, add some butter and salt to taste. Nothing to it! Full details are in the recipe card below.
Do I Need To Soak Split Peas?
Nope! Just make sure before you use them to rinse and remove any rocks (yes, there could be some in the bag) or dark, inedible peas. Other than that, they just go in the slow cooker with the other ingredients.
Will Split Pea Soup Thicken as It Cools?
It sure does! This yellow split pea soup thickens up considerably as it cools. If you are reheating on the stovetop, you can enjoy as is or add a little more chicken broth to thin out.
Can I Freeze Pea Soup?
Yep! Pea soup freezes beautifully!
After the soup has cooled, portion as desired (I like to portion smaller quantities so I can just take out what’s needed at any given time; plus, it thaws quickly) and place into vacuum sealer bags (follow the instructions for your vacuum sealer to seal). Once sealed, spread the bags out flat. Place onto a sheet pan and into your freezer. Once frozen, you can remove the sheet pan and stack the frozen packages of soup neatly in your freezer.
Alternatively, use your favourite sealable freezer-safe bags or freezer-safe containers (leaving some headspace at the top of the container for the liquid to expand as it freezes).
Freeze the soup for up to three months. Don’t forget to label the bag or container with the recipe name and date it was made, so you’ll know for later.
When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat, place the soup in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If you want to loosen or thin the soup, add a splash of broth.
Tips and Variations
- Every model of slow cooker is different so your cook time may vary. I have a super basic one. It was actually a wedding gift and I treasure it. Also, don’t open up the lid if you don’t need to because it will increase the cooking time.
- Brands and varieties of ham can vary in in salt content. Season soup to taste.
- If you have a leftover ham bone, feel free to add to the slow cooker to infuse flavour. Just remove when the soup is cooked.
- Don’t throw away those celery leaves! Chop some up and place in the pot. They have so much flavour!
- Cut the celery, carrot and parsnip into roughly ½-inch chunks. This soup cooks for quite some time so you still want a little texture.
- Yellow turnip (rutabaga) is pretty popular in Newfoundland split pea soup too. I didn’t use it here, but feel free to add some or sub out the parsnip.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- Homemade Chicken Soup With Spinach and Dill
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup With Fennel
- Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup
Hope you love this slow cooker split pea soup. It’s really good!
Being a huge vinegar fan, when I serve myself a bowl of this stick-to-ya-ribs split pea soup, I always, enjoy a splash of white vinegar. Trust me, it works.
If you make this slow cooker split pea soup with ham, be sure to leave a comment below!
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup With Ham
- 2 cups dried yellow split peas, about one (450-gram) package or about 1 pound
- 1 pound cooked ham, cut into small cubes (about 3 cups)
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery, chopped into ½-inch chunks
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into ½-inch chunks
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into ½-inch chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 to 7 cups low sodium chicken broth, more if you want a looser or thinner consistency
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Pick over yellow split peas (i.e., remove and discard any foreign objects, like rocks, and any imperfect yellow split peas). Rinse and drain.
- Place yellow split peas, ham, onion, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, chicken broth and black pepper into a 6-quart slow cooker on the low setting, stirring to combine.Note: I like to start with 6 cups of chicken broth and add more later, if necessary.
- Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours until the split peas have cooked through and softened (time may vary depending on your slow cooker).
- When done, stir in salt (to taste) and butter. Remove and discard bay leaves. Give everything a good stir for 30 seconds or so. Serve and enjoy!Note: This pea soup thickens as it cools. When reheating, you can always add a little more chicken broth to loosen or thin.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
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