French Canadian-Style Crock Pot Split Pea Soup

Pea soup with ham, Parmesan and croutons
Pea soup with croutons. StockFood / Getty Images
  • 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Ratings (36)

Split pea soup is pure comfort food for many. A ham bone or ham hocks flavor this version. Or use shredded pork picnic (smoked pork shoulder) in the soup.  Enjoy this satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker split pea soup with freshly baked cornbread or a good, crusty French bread.

Feel free to vary the vegetables. Add cubed potatoes to the soup or add more onion and carrots. Top it off with some finely minced ham, fresh chopped herbs, or crumbled bacon, if desired.

Blend the finished soup (see safety tips, below) for a smooth texture or mash the lentils and vegetables with a potato masher for a chunkier soup.

This stovetop pea soup with ham is another excellent choice, or try this slow cooker version, made with spicy sausage.

What You'll Need

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

How to Make It

  1. Layer the ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; add the water or stock. Do not stir ingredients.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off the bone.
  3. Remove the meat from the bones and chop. Save some of the chopped ham for 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 (see below).  
  1. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

*If you use low-sodium stock or broth, taste and add the seasoned salt about an hour before it's finished cooking. 

**Garnish the pea soup with croutons, some of the diced cooked ham, cooked crumbled bacon, fresh parsley, a swirl of olive oil, greek yogurt, or sour cream, crumbled fried onion rings, freshly grated carrots, or chopped scallions.

How to Puree Soup in a Blender

Steam from hot soup and other liquids can create enough steam to literally blow the lid off the blender. To prevent the mess and possible burns, use caution and follow these simple steps.

  • Never fill the blender more than half full of a hot liquid. Work in batches.
  • Loosen the center cup in the lid of the blender.
  • Place a folded kitchen towel over the lid and hold it down firmly with your hand before you press the button.
  • Repeat with remaining batches.


Brown some diced smoked sausage in a skillet and add it to the soup about 20 minutes before it's done.