Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
Big Flavor from The Bone

Slow cooker split pea soup...I bet you heard that good things happened because of accidents or mistakes.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham Bone

Prep Time: 5 Minutes   Inactive Cook Time: 4-8 Hours  Serving: 4

This soup was made just like that. Before putting it together, I totally forgot to soak the beans ahead of time. But I want to get the soup ready for dinner. In the back of my mind, I thought, "Well, what the hack...let's see what will happen."

After cooking it at high heat in the slow cooker for 4 hours, I thought it should be done. Well, looking into the slow cooker, I saw there was more liquid than it supposed to be. The onion wasn't fallen apart from the slow and low cooking process of all these hours even though it was finely diced.

I was dragging to put it into the food processor. (Of course, without an immersion blender either)  Disappointment sank in. So, I got to change my dinner plan. I left the slow cooker split pea soup cool down in the crock pot and thought that I would continue to cook it the next day.

Before I covered the pot of soup up again, I remember stirring the soup to get the onion mixed into the beans.

And you know what, the next day when I peeked into the slow cooker, I was amazed the soup's texture was so smooth. I warmed it up that night and added a dollop of sour cream on top, I was in heaven. I didn't need to use the food processor to get more dirty dishes for me to wash.

After that "accident", I thought I would give it another try and did everything right. I soaked the dried beans overnight. I was so determined to find out if there is any
difference. The result was the same.

Turning off the crock pot and let the soup sit overnight in the warm pot makes a big difference to the texture of the soup.

Therefore, the verdict is....cook this soup the night before. At least to allow it to come to a boil, turn off the slow cooker and let the soup to stay in the warm pot to cool down overnight. You can either turn on the heat to "keep warm" setting the next day to let it slowly warm up or warm up the soup on the stove top.

When you peek into the crock pot, the soup looks very, very thick.  You may think that you need to add some more water.  STOP right there….No, you don’t need to add any more water.  Either in the slow cooker or the stove top, slowly warm up this slow cooker split pea soup, the ratio of the liquid in the soup would be perfect.

More Tips On
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

If you don't have the ham bone, please feel free to replace it with smoked ham hock.

Soaking the dried beans or not, let the hot soup stay in the slow cooker overnight and serve it the next night is the best.

I find that if you are not too picky or a perfectionist, the soup is definitely ready for dinner after 4 hours on high heat in the slow cooker. But my experiments showed me that having it sitting overnight and cook it again the next day taste much better and with smoother texture. Please feel free to do it the way works best for you and your family.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham BoneThe 3 major ingredients of the Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup: Meaty Ham Bone, Diced Onion and Dried Split Peas


1 pound Dried split green peas (rinsed well and discard the bad peas)
Meaty Ham bone (from baked ham leftover; you can also substitute it with smoked ham hock)
1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
1 pound Baby Carrots
5-6 Stalks Celery Ribs (diced)
2 Dried Bay Leaves
8 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)

  1. Rinse split green peas very well
  2. Discard any pieces floating on top of the water
  3. Put water and beans into the slow cooker, NOT turning it on, to allow the beans soaked overnight
  4. Put the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker
  5. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low for 8 hours
  6. Leave the soup in the slow cooker overnight to cool down gradually on its own
  7. Turn the crock pot to the "keep warm" setting to warm the soup through throughout the day for dinner. Otherwise, warm up the soup on the stove top
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. Add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt (optional) and serve 

(Last updated on 10/7/2015)

You May Also Be Interested In:

Slow Cooker Recipes

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Ham Leftover Recipes

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