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Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham

As the weather cools down and the days become shorter, there’s nothing quite like the comfort of a warm, hearty soup to soothe the soul. That’s where this Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham comes into play – a classic dish that combines simplicity with heartwarming flavors.

Split pea soup has been a staple in many cultures for its wholesome ingredients and easy preparation. This recipe takes a delightful turn with a slow cooker, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify over hours of gentle cooking. The star ingredients – dried green split peas and smoked ham hocks – combine for the most perfect of flavors: the peas offer a creamy texture and earthy taste, while the ham hocks infuse the soup with a rich, smoky depth.

Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham in a white bowl.

Ideal for busy days, this Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham is as effortless as satisfying. Simply combine the ingredients in the morning; by evening, you’ll have a luscious soup ready to warm you from the inside out. There’s no need to sauté the onions, celery, and carrots beforehand. Let the slow cooker do all the work!

It is a great way to use leftover ham, and this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup Recipe is also a budget-friendly option for feeding a crowd.

Snert, aka Dutch Split Pea Soup

Terry and I were in Amsterdam between Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year. We loved the city and are anxious to return when the climate is a little more welcoming. It was cold and wet for most of our time there.

We didn’t let the weather get in our way, but come lunchtime, we sought a warm and comforting spot to take the chill from our bones and feed our stomachs. Our first lunch in town, we stumbled upon a little brown cafe called Café ‘t Smalle, across the canal from the Anne Frank house.

Cafe smalle

Brown cafes are akin to English pubs and French bistros. The dark-paneled cafes typically serve a range of local beers and simple but hearty Dutch food. The menu might include classic snacks like bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), snert (Dutch Pea Soup), and broodjes (sandwiches with various fillings), making them a great place to indulge in local flavors.

People sitting at a bar.

We like to eat and try new places when we travel, but we loved our little brown cafe so much that we returned the next day and each ordered the same thing from the previous day: a bowl of snert and a broodjes. It was just so comforting and delicious…and simple.

When we returned home, I determined to create a similarly simple and delicious snert. This easy slow cooker split pea soup recipe is it! The Dutch often cook their soup very slowly, often overnight, for the flavors to fully develop and incorporate. The crock pot is great for that low and slow infusion.

Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham in a white soup bowl.

Why You Will Love This Crock Pot Pea and Ham Soup

  • Effortless Cooking: The Crockpot does all the work for you. Just add the ingredients, set it, and forget it. This means you can enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen. It’s perfect for busy days when you still want a comforting, homemade dinner.
  • Rich, Satisfying Flavor: The slow cooking process allows all the flavors to meld beautifully, creating a rich and deep taste. The smoked ham infuses the soup with a savory, hearty flavor, while the peas and vegetables contribute a subtle sweetness and earthiness.
  • Nutritious and Wholesome: This soup is not just tasty; it’s also packed with nutrients. Green split peas are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making the soup filling and good for digestion. The added vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, making this dish a healthy choice for a balanced meal.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pea Soup with Ham

Crock Pot Pea Soup withHam Ingredients
  • Dried Green Split Peas are the base of your soup. Green split peas are rich in fiber and protein, making them nutritious. Dried split peas don’t require pre-soaking and soften nicely during the slow cooking, thickening the soup naturally.
  • Chicken Stock or Ham Stock provides part of the liquid base and adds flavor. Using chicken broth or ham stock instead of just water results in a richer taste. For a vegetarian version, you can substitute it with vegetable broth. If you’re watching sodium intake, opt for a low-sodium variety.
  • Smoked Ham Hocks add a deep, smoky flavor to the soup. The meat becomes tender and infuses the broth during the long cooking process. If ham hocks are unavailable, smoked turkey legs are a good substitute. Use a boneless ham or smoked turkey breast for a lighter version.
  • Celery adds a subtle earthy flavor and a bit of texture. It’s a classic ingredient in soups and stews, contributing to the overall savory flavor.
  • Carrots bring a touch of sweetness and vibrant color. They’re also a great source of vitamins and fiber. Chop them uniformly for even cooking.
  • Onions are foundational in soup-making, offering a base flavor. They become sweeter and milder as they cook slowly, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Black Pepper: Provides a mild heat and sharpness, balancing the ham’s richness and the vegetables’ sweetness. Freshly ground black pepper will have the most flavor.
  • Salt: Use to taste, but be cautious with the amount, especially if your chicken stock and ham hocks are already salted. It’s always better to adjust at the end of cooking.
  • Cooked Diced Ham is optional, but if you use a ham hock, you might not get much meat from it.
  • Shredded Spinach is optional but a great way to add extra veggies. Toss them in right before serving.
  • Your favorite Croutons are, again, optional, but in our humble opinion, good croutons take a great bowl of split pea soup from delicious to out-of-this-world!

Making Crock Pot Split Pea Soup Couldn’t Be Easier!

Commonly Asked Questions About Crockpot Split Pea Soup

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Can I substitute Yellow Split Peas for Green Split Peas?

Absolutely! Yellow split peas have a slightly milder and sweeter flavor than green split peas’s earthy taste. This difference can subtly alter the flavor profile of your dish. And your soup will tend to be more yellow than green! But, other than that, yellow split peas are similar to green split peas in size, shape, and cooking time, making them a convenient alternative.

Can I make Crock Pot Pea and Ham Soup with a ham bone instead of ham hocks?

Yes, you can use a leftover ham bone. It will provide a rich flavor to the soup. If there’s meat on the bone, it’ll add extra heartiness.

Do I need to soak the split peas before cooking?

Soaking isn’t necessary for split peas as they cook fairly quickly compared to other legumes, especially in a Crock Pot.

How long does it take to cook pea and ham soup in a slow cooker?

On a low setting, it typically takes about 7-8 hours. If you’re short on time, you can cook it on high for about 4-5 hours.

Can I make this soup vegetarian?

Absolutely. Omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. You can add more vegetables like potatoes or mushrooms for heartiness.

How can I thicken pea and ham soup if it’s too thin?

The soup usually thickens as it cools. However, if it’s still too thin, you can blend a portion of the soup to create a thicker consistency or let it cook with the lid off to reduce the liquid.

Is this soup freezer-friendly?

Yes, pea and ham soup freezes well. Let it cool completely before freezing and store it in airtight containers or Souper Cubes. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Souper Cubes

Food Storage Favorite

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I’ve been using Freezer Storage Cubes and Pods for years! We use the 1 cup, 1/2 cup, and two tablespoon trays.

The 1 cup is perfect for lunch portions of soup, chili, and beans for meals.

The 1/2 cup size is great for freezing buttermilk and cream. We also portion out 1/2 cup portions of our seasoned meat for our weekly nachos.

The 2-tablespoon trays are a great size for tomato paste and chipotle in adobo.

How should I reheat frozen pea and ham soup?

Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated.

Can I add other vegetables to the soup?

Of course! Root vegetables like turnips or parsnips work well, or you can add spinach or kale towards the end of cooking for added greens.

What can I serve with Crock Pot Pea and Ham Soup?

It pairs wonderfully with crusty bread, a simple green salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich for a comforting meal.

How can I make this soup more flavorful?

Adding herbs like thyme or bay leaves can enhance the flavor.

Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham in a White Bowl.

For the Best Slow Cooker Pea Soup

  • Don’t Skimp on Cooking Time: Slow cooking is key for this soup. Allow it to cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. This long cooking time helps develop the flavors and ensures the peas are perfectly soft.
  • Adjust Liquid Quantity as Needed: If you prefer a thinner soup, consider adding more stock or water. For a thicker soup, blend a portion of the cooked soup or allow it to cook with the lid off for the last 30 minutes.
  • Season at the End: Wait until the end of the cooking process to adjust the salt and pepper. The ham hocks will add saltiness during cooking, so it’s best to taste and season accordingly before serving.
  • Add Fresh Herbs for Extra Flavor: Add fresh herbs like thyme or parsley towards the end of the cooking time for an additional layer of flavor.
  • Cool Before Storing: If you have leftovers, allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This helps maintain the quality and flavor of the soup.
  • Reheat Gently: When reheating, do it slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.

Every Month is Slow Cooker Month

That January is National Slow Cooking Month shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone! It’s a great month to fill your home with the aroma of slow-cooked, hearty meals. That said, shouldn’t every month be slow cooker month?

One could make the case that June and July should be Slow Cooker months because we are busy at the pool or the beach…it’s a great time to let the Crock Pot do all the heavy lifting.

But, who am I to challenge the ‘National Days’ powers-that-be!?

If you are looking for more Crock Pot Recipes, I’ve got you covered! There’s something for everyone on this list, from slow-cooked meat to slow-cooked soups!

Equally easy to make, easy on the budget, delicious, and hearty is this Crock Pot Turkey Chili and this 15-bean Soup with Smoked Turkey. My friend Sheila has a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar that sounds divine! When my daughter and her boyfriend come in next weekend, this recipe for Crock Pot Steak Bites may just get made! And Crockpot Southwestern Chili by my friend Eliza has the perfect Tex-Mex flair this family enjoys.

Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham in a white bowl.

Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham

Enjoy a classic comfort dish with Crock Pot Pea Soup with Ham – a hearty, flavorful, and easy-to-make meal perfect for any day. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning and return in the afternoon to a soul-soothing bowl of soup.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 7 minutes
Course Soups, Stocks, Broths + Chili
Cuisine Dutch
Servings 10 cups of soup
Calories 258 kcal


  • 1 pound dried green split peas
  • 4 cups of chicken stock ham stock or vegetable Broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1-2 smoked ham hocks or 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 cup of diced celery approximately 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1 cup of diced peeled carrots, approximately 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup of diced onion from 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup slivered spinach leaves optional
  • 1/2 lb approximate ham steak, diced (optional)
  • Croutons for serving optional, but highly recommend!


  • Rinse and sort through dried split peas.
  • Add the first 8 ingredients, through ground pepper, to the crock pot and set at low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  • Once the peas are soft, you can remove the ham hock and puree the soup with a hand-held blender, if desired. We like ours a little chunkier, with bites of carrot and peas. The soup will thicken as it cools.
  • Add optional diced ham and shredded spinach and just heat until spinach is wilted and/or ham is warmed through..just a few minutes.
  • We like our pea soup with croutons.


Serving: 9ouncesCalories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 19gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 209mgPotassium: 700mgFiber: 12gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2255IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 3mg
Keyword crockpot, ham, pea, slow cooker, soup
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  1. What a comforting and flavorful soup! My family enjoyed it immensely, and I enjoyed reading about your Dutch adventures in Amsterdam! Great slow cooking recipe!

  2. Delicious and filling. The hardest part was finding the ham hocks but so worth the challenge. Wouldn’t hesitate to make for a company meal.

    1. Hi Jo,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It is such a good soup, issn’t it? Hearty and delicious!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review!

4.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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