Nothing beats the cozy simplicity of my Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes. Velvety split peas, smoked ham, and golden potatoes, all simmering away in the slow cooker, infusing the kitchen with an irresistible aroma. Toss everything into the slow cooker in the morning, and by dinnertime, you’ll be savoring a bowl of pure comfort.
I made a 10-pound ham last week and the Ziplock bag of perfect-for-sandwich slices I had cut off the bone had gone a couple of days without being touched— by anyone.
This is the point in a leftover’s life where I take it upon myself to sweep in like a triage nurse and save the poor vestige of a previous night’s dinner on its downhill slide into the garbage.
This slow cooker split pea soup with ham and potatoes has been calling my name for a couple of weeks and now I had the perfect excuse to make it.
There is something about slow cooking the little dried peas that breaks them down into a creamy mass and makes it one of my go-to comfort foods.
Some take that inherent creaminess to another level and puree the whole thing with an immersion blender, but I like to leave mine chunky, it seems more filling that way.
The color of pea soup is always used as an insult, but I think it has a subtle beauty that is well suited for the late winter table and apparently my family agrees, because there is none left. Another leftover tragedy averted.
This soup is pure comfort and coziness and a great way to warm up on a wintery day!
Why This Is The Best Split Pea Soup
- Texture: This creamy slow cooker recipe has plenty of hearty, satisfying texture from ham and potatoes. You’ll also enjoy plenty of split peas in each spoonful. All of these wonderful chunks of vegetables and ham sit in a silky broth.
- Flavor: We love a dish with so much flavor and this slow cooker soup recipe delivers big. You’ll enjoy smoky ham, tender split peas, potatoes, savory bay leaves, plus plenty of black pepper all stewed together in the slow cooker. This split pea and potato soup is a celebration of sweet, savory, and creamy flavors and finished with a lift of fresh parsley and lemon.
- Ease: This split pea soup recipe begins with browning ham and then moves on to soup-starter basics like onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. These are cooked on the stove, but that’s the only “work” you’ll have to do. You then throw everything else right into the slow cooker (see recipe directions below). Are you cooking this during the day while you’re at work? You can prep the veggies on the stove the night before.
- Budget-friendly: Have leftover ham from Easter or Thanksgiving dinner? This homemade soup is a perfect way to use it up.
This easy recipe is a great meal that requires little effort, yet delivers so much flavor. If this appeals to you (little prep, big results!), you’ll also appreciate our easy beef and barley soup and pasta fagioli recipes.
Quick Note About The Split Peas
The first time you make this you might want to use only half of a pound of split peas (about 1 cup). This will result in a more brothy soup.
The next time you make it, if you want a much thicker soup, use the full pound of dried beans. This will give you more of a stew consistency.
You can also add more liquid if the soup seems too thick after the split peas become tender and expand.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Smoked ham or a ham hock. I like to use a thick ham steak and cut it into small pieces
- Dried split green peas or yellow split peas if you prefer although the color will be different
- Potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes will hold up much better than Russet potatoes
- Chicken broth, vegetable broth, bone broth, or even 8 cups water (use more salt if you are using water)
- Bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Fresh parsley and lemon (not pictured) for garnish
How To Make This Recipe
Prep the veggies. Chop the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes. You will also want to slice the leeks then soak the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water to get rid of any hidden dirt.
Brown the ham. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced ham and cook until lightly browned.
Sauté the veggies. Add the onion, leek, garlic, carrots, and celery to the frying pan and cook until starting to get tender.
Cook in the slow cooker. Transfer all the veggies to the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. This is the minimum cooking time. You can let it go longer at either setting.
Serve. Taste and add more salt to the finished soup as needed. Stir in the chopped parsley and squeeze the lemon into the soup. Serve with crusty bread or my favorite focaccia.
This makes a lot of soup (which is great because it tastes even better the next day). Any leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Top 5 Most Popular Hearty Soup Recipes
- Authentic German Goulash Recipe
- Tomato Rice Soup with Dill
- Mushroom Leek Barley Soup
- Homemade Egg Noodle Soup
- Easy Beef Barley and Vegetable Soup
I Can’t Wait For You To Try This Delicious Soup
One bite and you’ll understand why it is one of our favorite soups. Give it a try, share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see. Or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.
Slow Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup with Potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces smoked ham, medium diced
- 1 large yellow onion, medium diced
- 3 medium leeks, cut in half vertically and thinly sliced (light green and white parts only) and rinsed well
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, medium diced
- 2 stalks celery, medium diced
- 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed
- 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cups chicken stock, broth or water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 lemon
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add ham and cook, stirring occasionally until browned slightly.
- Add the onion, leeks, garlic, carrot, and celery and season with black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer everything to the slow cooker and add the 1 pound rinsed split peas, the 1/2 pound potatoes, the 8 cups of chicken broth, the 2 bay leaves, the 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Cover and set slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley and squeeze the lemon over the soup. Stir and taste one more time adding more salt, pepper, or lemon.
- Split peas: For a more brothy consistency, use half a pound of split peas. For a thicker stew-like consistency, use a full pound of split peas. You can also adjust the amount of liquid according to your desired thickness after the split peas have cooked and expanded.
- Potatoes: Use Yukon gold potatoes for better texture. I don’t recommend using Russet potatoes.
- Make-ahead and storage: Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- No Slow Cooker? No Problem. Prepare recipe through step 2 in a large dutch oven or soup pot instead of a skillet. Instead of placing ingredients into a slow cooker in step 3, place into the large pot over medium heat. Stir together, then allow to boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the split peas are tender. You may need to add extra broth to make up for the evaporation. Serve.