Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup is an easy weeknight meal with a few simple preparation steps. Hearty and comforting, this soup practically demands a hunk of crusty bread. Leftovers freeze well for an even easier weeknight meal down the road.
NOTE: this recipe was made possible by a kind gift from Bob's Red Mill. All thoughts are my own.
Why a hot soup recipe in the middle of summer?
The fam just got back from a vacation in Florida (my weekly post was on vacation too!). We had a fantastic time, but when we got home we were completely vacationed out. All we wanted was good, wholesome, home-cooked food. So, the first thing I did was to thaw a freezer container full of Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup that I made a couple of months back.
Sure, the timing seems odd for the US since we're in the middle of summer. But Phil and I are strange that way: if you check my Instagram feed, you'll see that we eat piping hot soups all summer long!
Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup: a riff on a master technique that will make your life easier.
Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup is one of several soups that start out with beans, grains, or legumes. These go into the slow-cooker with aromatics, broth, herbs, spices, and other good stuff. Then it's low-and-slow for 8 hours: you'll have a delicious meal waiting when you get home from your busy workday.
Other Flipped-Out Food riffs on the "legumes in the crockpot" master technique
For example, my Salsiccie e Fagioli—essentially Italy's answer to pork and beans—features navy beans and Italian sausages. Or, Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup with Avocado Crema gives you a Mexican spin on the master technique. Slow-Cooker Ham and Navy Bean Soup is another of our favorites, great made with leftover Easter ham. Soul-Warming Barley Chicken & Vegetable Soup is yet another example, which uses barley in place of beans.
So, you can see that once you have mastered the basic technique with my crockpot ham split-pea soup recipe, you can riff on it endlessly by just tweaking the ingredients slightly.
Bob's Red Mill: my favorite source of pantry staples
I have had a foodie crush on B'sRM for years because of its company history, which started out with a loving couple—Bob and Charlee—who wanted to provide wholesome food for their family. That spark gave rise to an employee-owned company that puts out awesome unprocessed product, with organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free lines available.
I always have my pantry stocked with split peas, dal, barley, beans, and more so that I can pull off a fantastic "pantry raid" meal. For more on that, check out Easy Pantry Meals – Living Out of Your Pantry (and refrigerator and freezer).
Making Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup
Although you can almost literally dump everything into the slow-cooker and go with this split-pea soup recipe, I'm a huge fan of spending a short amount of time to build flavor into the soup on the front end. This involves sautéing aromatics until soft, adding some tomato paste and fish sauce (this is for salt and umami—you won't taste fish!), and finally deglazing with either broth or wine.
I sometimes do all of this the night before and simply store the mixture in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. Then it's a simple matter of prepping the split peas the next morning (washing and picking through to remove any rocks) and adding everything to the slow-cooker.
Ham bone; odds and ends
If you happen to have a leftover ham bone, it will do wonders for the flavors of your Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup. Ham hocks are another option. I also love to throw in a section of rind from a Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
The split peas in this ham and split pea soup will break down during the long slow cook. This gives the soup a wonderful, thick consistency. (If you prefer your soup thinner, you can always add a cup or so of additional broth until it's just right.)
I add leftover cubed ham to the split pea soup only for about the final 15 minutes before serving—just enough to warm it through. F
inally, it's time to dish up the soup. I remove the rosemary stem, the ham bone, bay leaves, and cheese rind (if I can find it, that is). Then I sprinkle each bowl with parsley and grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.
This crockpot ham split-pea soup loves a hunk of crusty bread for mopping up every last delicious drop.
I am by no means an expert in wine pairings, but I love a nice Pinot Grigio with this soup (I usually drink the same wine I use in the deglazing step). I hope that Crockpot Ham Split-Pea Soup becomes a go-to in your family!
P.S. If you need more inspiration for cooking with leftovers, check out Using up Leftovers!
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb dried yellow split peas
- 1 ½ cups sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (optional)
- ½ cup white wine (optional, see Recipe Note #1)
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 quart water
- 1 rosemary sprig, needles removed and minced, stem reserved
- 1 tablespoon fresh savory leaves, minced (see Recipe Note #1)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups cubed ham
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 ham bone (optional)
- 1 cheese rind (optional; a small—e.g., ~¼" by 2"—section of rind of Romano or Parmesan cheese)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped or chiffonaded, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the celery, carrots, and onions. Sauté until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and bay leaves; sauté for an additional minute. Add the fish sauce, if using, and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits (fond) on the bottom. Add the mixture to your slow-cooker.
- Pick through the split peas, removing any pebbles. Wash thoroughly and add to the slow-cooker.
- Add the chicken broth, water, rosemary, savory leaves, salt, and pepper to the slow-cooker. Add the ham bone and cheese rind (if using). Cover the slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours.
- Check the seasoning of the soup and adjust as needed. Remove the ham bone, rosemary stem, and cheese rind, if using. Check the consistency of the soup: it will be very thick because the split peas will have broken down. If you prefer a thinner consistency, mix in up to an additional cup of water or chicken broth and check the seasoning again. Add the cubed ham; continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the ham is warmed through.
- Serve with chopped parsley, grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, and plenty of fresh-ground black pepper.
- I use the wine to deglaze the pot and scrape up all the lovely browned bits. (Then I drink a glass of it with my meal.) You can also use chicken broth or water.
- If you can't find fresh, use ½ tablespoon of dried. You can also use a mix of fresh or dried thyme leaves and marjoram leaves—or your favorite Italian herb mix.
INSTANT POTS: note that while you absolutely can make this soup from start to finish in an Instant Pot, you'll need to use the high slow-cook setting.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl, about 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1262mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 30g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!