French Canadian-Style Crock Pot Split Pea Soup

  • PrepTime: 15 Mins
  • CookTime: 8 Hrs
  • TotalTime: 8 Hrs 15 Mins


  1. 1 package (16 ounces) dried split peas (rinsed)
  2. 1 meaty ham bone (or 2 ham hocks, or 2 cups diced ham)
  3. 3 carrots (peeled and sliced)
  4. 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  5. 2 ribs celery (plus leaves, chopped)
  6. 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  7. 1 large bay leaf
  8. 1/4 cup parsley (fresh and chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes)
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  10. 6 cups hot water (or use part low sodium or unsalted vegetable stock or broth)
  11. 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (or to taste)


  1. In a slow cooker, layer the ingredients in the order given; add the water or stock. Do not stir the ingredients.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and the ham falls off the bone.
  3. Remove the meat from the bones and chop. Save some of the chopped ham for a garnish, if desired. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Before serving, mash the peas slightly to thicken the soup or blend the soup in batches for a smoother texture (safety tips below).  
  5. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.


  1. If you use low-sodium stock or broth, make sure to taste the soup and add the seasoned salt about an hour before it's ready. Also, keep in mind that some vegetable broths will darken the soup a bit. If you are looking for a bright green or yellow soup, use a light color broth or all water.
  2. Split peas are merely dried peas that are cut in half. You will find both yellow and green varieties, though green is more common. The yellow split peas have a mild flavor, and they do make an interesting soup as well.
  3. Feel free to vary the vegetables. Almost any veggie can be added to the soup, particularly cubed potatoes or parsnips. You can also simply add more onion and carrots.
  4. Garnish the pea soup with croutons, some of the diced cooked ham, cooked crumbled bacon, or fresh parsley. Try serving it with a swirl of olive oil, greek yogurt, or sour cream. Crumbled fried onion rings, freshly grated carrots, or chopped scallions are nice additions as well.
  5. If you don't have a slow cooker or want to make it more quickly, you can also make a stovetop pea soup with ham.
  6. This soup is also delicious when made with shredded pork picnic (smoked pork shoulder). Or, you can brown some diced smoked sausage in a skillet and add it to the soup about 20 minutes before it's done. Andouille sausage split pea soup is another excellent choice that has a spicier profile.