With a rich ham flavor and a balanced combination of potatoes, leeks, and split peas, this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup was a very pleasant surprise.
My husband loves split pea soup. I’ve tried making it for him several times and each 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 finally discovered a split pea soup I don’t just like or tolerate but really truly LOVE.
Split Pea Soup Recipe
When I saw this Split Pea Soup recipe earlier this week, I decided to give split pea soup another chance. I had a ham bone in the freezer already, so this was an easy meal to create from 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.
Then, I took a bite and discovered just how delicious split pea soup can be. Chunks of tender baby red potatoes, onion and leeks swim in creamy split peas that are cooked in a garlicky chicken broth flavored with ham bone.
Each and every spoonful of this hot soup was more delicious than the last and it’s easily become one of my top 10 favorite soups of all time. 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.
We eat soup frequently, even through the summer. I just crank the air conditioning and pretend it isn’t a million degrees outside for a couple of hours. Served with a fresh homemade baguette, this is a great meal that requires almost no effort.
Crock-pot Split Pea Soup
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 Crock-pot Split Pea Soup is that you can quite literally set it and forget it. This soup recipe is a one pot meal at its best. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in the slow cooker, pour broth over time and let the whole thing cook for a few hours.
Once the potatoes are cooked through and the split peas are tender, you remove the ham bone from the crock and give the whole soup a good stir. At this point, I turn the slow cooker on a lower setting and leave it alone for another couple of hours to thicken.
Split Pea Soup with Potato, Ham and Leeks makes for such 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.
Split pea soup freezes well too. Keep it in the freezer in an airtight container or heavy gallon sized Ziploc bag. Let it thaw in the fridge or at room temperature then reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
Interested in more crock-pot soup recipes like this? This list of 10 of my favorite Slow Cooker Soups for Fall is 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 the split-pea soup, it’s homey, comforting and sure to become a family favorite.
If it’s Instant Pot soup recipes you’re after, take a look at this Southwestern Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Potatoes. The southwestern spices in the recipe alone are enough to pique my interest!
How to Choose a Slow Cooker
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.
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.
Slow Cooker Split Pea, Potato, Ham and Leek Soup
- 2 leeks sliced thin, washed and rinsed very well
- 1 large onion diced
- 8 baby red potatoes diced into bite size pieces
- 1-2 cloves of garlic I used 2 large ones
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 ham bone
- 1 1/2 cups dried split peas
- 3 cups chicken broth if using homemade stock, be sure to adjust the salt accordingly
- 3 cups water
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Set the crockpot on high and then layer the leeks, onion and potatoes into the bottom of the pot. Then add the ham bone, split peas, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Pour the chicken broth and water on top of everything.
- Let this 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. Then remove the bone from the soup. Remove the bay leaves as well and then stir the soup.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point, you can adjust the heat to a lower setting. I switched from high to low after about 4 hours and then kept the soup simmering on low for another couple hours and allowed it to thicken a bit while I waited until dinnertime.