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.

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

4 from 2 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.
Pin Print Review
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. Becki Jacobs says

    This sounds so good. I love leeks. I just bought some frozen at Trader Joe's. This sounds like a great fall recipe, which I am so ready for – kind of grilled out these days. I also love that everything goes right into the crockpot without having to precook anything first. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Ciccia says

    Oh, this looks wonderful! And your peanut butter ice cream below is just mouth-watering! I'm going to make it for my daughter. Before going back to Sicily I'll stock up on peanut butter here in Rome, we don't get peanut butter in Trapani. I found you at my friend mylivingcookbook and I'm following you immediately, your recipes are so appetizing!

  3. sheila @ Elements says

    I really need to buy a Crock pot! I'd sure do love split pea soup, and not having to stand over a hot stove for hours is definitely the way to go! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! 🙂

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    I discovered leek this year and fell in love. Until I started blogging I never knew about it or wasn't interested in picking it up at the supermarket. I'm keeping this recipe for next time I buy leeks. I only have 2 recipes so far and I needed more leek recipe. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Debbi says

    Over the last week…over all the great recipes!
    If I had the time to cook all these it sure would put on some much needed weight before chemo…lol