Something magical happens when dried split peas break down into a thick, naturally creamy, and delicious soup over several hours in the slow cooker. Here, all you do is lay down a layer of dried slit peas in your crockpot’s insert, then add a layer of diced carrot, celery, and yellow onion, with some garlic, parsley, and a bay leaf. Drop in a ham bone or smoked ham hocks, pour in chicken or veggie stock and water, turn on the slow cooker, and you’re on your way to making the ultimate comforting soup. This soup freezes well, so make a batch and save extra for later.
Make-ahead note: The recipe can be prepared through step 1 the night before and refrigerated, covered, in the slow cooker’s insert.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins, plus 5 to 10 hrs cooking time
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and medium dice
- 2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, medium dice
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 meaty smoked ham bone or 2 ham hocks (about 1 pound)
- 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Arrange the split peas in the slow cooker in an even layer. Arrange the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, and bay leaf over the peas in one even layer. Place the ham bone or hocks on top of the vegetables. (At this point you can remove the insert from the slow cooker, cover, and refrigerate up to 12 hours until ready to continue.)
- Pour the chicken broth and water into the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the peas are very soft and the meat is falling off the bone, on high for 5 to 6 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.
- Remove the ham bone or hocks to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, place the meat back in the soup (discard the skin and bones), and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.