Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

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With a rich ham flavor and a balanced combination of potatoes, leeks, and split peas, this slow cooker split pea soup is a very pleasant surprise.

split pea soup in pottery mug with bread

Ham and Split Pea Soup with Potatoes

My husband loves split pea soup. I tried making it for him several times when we were newly married and every time prior to this, I was unimpressed. Even as a child, split pea soup was my least favorite soup.

Finally, as an adult, I’ve found a split pea soup I don’t just like or tolerate but really truly love. This slow cooker split pea soup is made with leeks, ham, and potatoes and it just might be the best split pea soup you’ll ever taste.

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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

When I stumbled on this rainy day split pea soup several years ago, I decided to give split pea soup another chance.

Lucky for us, I had a ham bone in the freezer already (leftover from Christmas dinner) so I made this split pea soup with that ham bone in the crock pot that same day, making this a super easy meal to make with what I had on hand.

I could tell even before I ladled the split pea soup into bowls that this recipe was a winner. The fragrant garlic and simmering split peas filled my kitchen with the most delicious smell as the soup cooked.

ham and potato split pea soup in white bowls

Then, I took a bite and discovered just how delicious split pea soup with ham and potatoes can be. Chunks of tender baby red potatoes, onions, and leeks swim in creamy split peas that are cooked in a garlicky broth that is richly flavored with ham.

Each and every spoonful of this crockpot split pea soup was more delicious than the last and it’s become one of our favorite soups over the past ten years. A few years ago I never would have guessed that I’d become such a fan of split pea soup but I’m so happy I discovered this recipe.

The base of potatoes, onions, and leeks simmered with a ham bone in chicken broth provides an abundance of flavor for the split peas as they soften and simmer through the day.

Split Pea Soup Ingredients
  • leeks
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • bay leaves
  • thyme or Italian seasonings
  • ham bone
  • split peas
  • chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
split pea soup ingredients in crockpot

Wondering what to serve with split pea soup?

We eat soup frequently through the winter, but we also enjoy it in the summer months. I just crank the air conditioning and pretend it isn’t a million degrees outside for a couple of hours.

Served with a freshly toasted baguette, this is a great meal that requires almost no effort. Split pea soup is also delicious with a slice of honey wheat bread and soft whipped butter.

I likely don’t need to tell you this, but it’s also delicious with cornbread or fluffy biscuits. There isn’t a wrong way to serve this soup and pretty much any warm bread is going to be a win.

pea soup ingredients in slow cooker

Crockpot Split Pea Soup Recipe

Slow cookers and soup recipes are a match made in heaven. Making split pea soup in the crock-pot is advantageous in a few different ways.

First, the longer cooking time allows the flavors to meld, mingle and marry to create a finished soup with multiple dimensions of flavor. Many soups famously taste better the next day. When you make soup in the slow cooker you can get that “next day” depth of flavor from the very first time you taste it.

The other major advantage of this recipe is that you can quite literally set it and forget it. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in the slow cooker, pour broth over everything, and let it simmer away for a few hours.

Once the potatoes are cooked through and the split peas are tender, you’ll remove the ham bone from the slow cooker and give the soup a good stir.

I typically switch the heat from high to low after about 4 hours and allow the soup to simmer on low for a couple of hours longer. This will thicken it a bit more while you’re waiting until dinnertime.

soup ingredients in crockpot

Can you freeze split pea soup?

Ham and split pea soup with potatoes makes for a satisfying and easy weeknight meal. It impressed my husband, who loves any and all kinds of split pea soup, as well as my kids who usually aren’t crazy about soup with split-peas.

This soup is also delicious the next day. Store it covered in the fridge and reheat on the stove or the microwave.

I’m happy to tell you that split pea soup freezes well too. Keep it in the freezer in an airtight container or a heavy gallon-sized zip close bag. Allow the soup to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, then reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.

pea soup with ham and potatoes in mugs with sliced bread next to them

Slow cookers or crockpots are an appliance of which I have more than one. If you are an avid slow cooker user like I am, you might understand the need for more than one. So, let’s talk about my favorites:

First up is this 6-quart slow cooker that has a locking lid. These crockpots are fantastic for transporting foods. Mine has gone everywhere from church potlucks to barbecues, game nights to Thanksgiving dinner. However, fair warning, these slow cookers run crazy hot. Low is closer to a boil than a simmer, the warm setting actually simmers. So trust me when I say HIGH is high.

My everyday slow cooker is this 8-quart Crockpot. It’s my go-to appliance for cooking large roasts and big batches of chili. Fun fact: did you know that a full 4-quart cooker, actually cooks more slowly than a half-full 8-quart cooker?

For just cooking a few pounds of chicken to shred for enchiladas or other smaller recipes, this 3-quart version is perfect.

Thanksgiving has become a breeze since I have mastered how to hold all of the side dishes using these medium-sized round slow cookers.

If you aren’t a fan of the idea of keeping more than one slow cooker in the house, these CrockPockets are a game-changer when it comes to preparing and holding multiple dishes at the same time. They slide into a standard 6-quart crockpot, dividing it into two sections that are perfect for serving different side dishes or keeping taco fillings warm for parties.

Ham and potatoes in split peas soup in white bowls with bread

Interested in more crock-pot soup recipes like this? These Slow Cooker Soups for Fall are a great starting point for getting some good use out of your crock-pot.

Since I wrote that post, I’ve discovered and created several more slow cooker meals that have become new favorites. Baked Potato Soup, Slow Cooker Smothered Chicken Burritos, and Crockpot Roast Beef are just a few to bookmark or pin to try later.

Another recipe I love that uses ham bone is this Creamy Pinto Bean, Ham and Sweet Potato Soup. Like this split-pea soup, it’s homey, comforting, and sure to become a family favorite.

Tender potatoes and cannelini beans are simmered in a rich, flavorful broth full of Italian spices. There is just a touch of heat from red pepper flakes; feel free to adjust the amount of heat according to your tastes.

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split pea soup with ham and potatoes in mugs with sliced bread next to them

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

3.67 from 3 votes
With a rich ham flavor and a balanced combination of potatoes, leeks, and split peas, this slow cooker split pea soup is a very pleasant surprise.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 leeks sliced thin, washed and rinsed very well
  • ½ large onion diced small
  • 8 baby red potatoes diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or Italian seasonings
  • 1 ham bone
  • cups dried split peas
  • 3 cups chicken broth if using homemade stock, be sure to adjust the salt accordingly
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste


  • Layer the leeks, onion, and potatoes into the bottom of the pot. Add the ham bone, split peas, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour the chicken broth and water on top of everything.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until the peas disintegrate into the broth and the potatoes are tender. Use a fork to remove and shred any remaining meat from the ham bone. Discard the ham bone. Remove the bay leaves and stir the soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve now or reduce heat to low and hold for an additional hour or two.


I typically switch the heat from high to low after about 4 hours and allow the soup to simmer on low for a couple of hours longer. This will thicken it a bit more while you’re waiting until dinnertime.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 8/3/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 1/12/23}

soup ingredients in crockpot
soup in pottery bowls with napkin

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. theo lowman says

    Ok… So I made this soup yesterday while I was at work and when I got home… My whole house smelled amazing! I followed the recipe step by step but I did a couple add ins: I uses the 1 ham bone(I always have at least 2 in the freezer on hand) and I used 2 small ham hocks and about a 1/2 cup if halved baby carrots. It was sooo good and this will definitely be going into my recipe folder… Thanks so much!!

    • Mary says

      I've made this without the bone and added a cup of diced ham in the last couple hours of the cooking time. I hope that helps!

  2. melissa says

    I made this last night and it was wonderful but I instead of adding water I just used 4 cans of chicken stock and added carrots. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. FZ says

    Just made this soup with extra ham from thanksgiving. Had cut out the bone and saved half the ham before cooking on thanksgiving and this was a great use for it.

    Used russet potatoes since that’s what I had. Soup turned out creamy because of them and tastes great.


  4. JJ says

    I have a very similar recipe, and the day before I always slow cook ham shanks/hocks (or HoneyBaked ham bones – yum!) a full day in plain water, separate meat from broth, pour broth into containers to chill overnight and pull all the cold fat off with excellent success. I then use the clean broth for the soup, adding the cooked, trimmed ham pieces at the last hour or so. for a “low” fat soup that’s delicious. I’ve never used potatoes! What a great option. This makes so much (there’s two of us), so I freeze half of it, then vacuum pack the portion for months down the road. Love this recipe!5 stars

  5. Joyce says

    It didn’t get thick had on high for 5 hrs . Was good but should be thick . Next time my old recipe said to cook split peas first.3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Did the peas cook through and disintegrate into the soup? It should’ve looked exactly like the photos, Joyce. I’m unsure what might’ve been different with your results.