CrockPot Split Pea Soup Recipe

Do you have a ham hock hanging out in your freezer? 
Put it to good work. 
If you don't, that's okay -- you can omit the meat all-together (the broth and salt provides enough flavor) or you can use turkey or pork bacon.

[originally posted in 2008 during my Year of Slow Cooking]

We recently went on a roadtrip south and stopped in Buellton, California at the HOME OF PEA SOUP. 

At least that is what the billboard said.

Anderson's Soup is a roadside attraction and tourist stop along the highway. The interior hasn't changed in about a hundred million (50) years. 

Anderson's Split Pea Soup sign for restaurant in Buellton, California

I talked the kids into eating a bite each, which I'm pretty sure was only because they sell fudge in the lobby.

On a side note: we were happy to discover that the soup at Anderson's was not only completely gluten free, it was vegan, too!

This soup can be made vegan simply by omitting the meat. The broth is vegetable broth and the original recipe from Anderson's Split Pea soup restaurant is made vegan; they just add ham to the bowl.

The Ingredients.
serves 6 to 8

1 leftover ham hock, with a bit of ham attached
OR 8 ounces turkey bacon, divided (see note below about using pork bacon)

1 (16-ounce) package of dried split peas
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 cup diced carrot
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

The Directions.

--dump the peas, diced vegetables, broth, and water into the crockpot

--add the salt and pepper

--if you are using a ham hock, add that now. 

If using bacon, add it (diced, raw --- ) ---> saving 4-6 pieces for later use

cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4-6. I cooked ours for 6 hours on high.

if you went with the ham hock, scrape off any remaining meat and discard the bone.

if you went with the turkey bacon, carefully remove the strips and you can either pan fry them to crisp them up with the saved bacon and crumble on top, or simply discard.

I, personally, discard them but the internet thinks this is SCANDALOUS -- that is your call.

HEY STEPH: I want to use PORK bacon, not turkey bacon : you can, but your soup will be greasier. If you are going for an "Anderson's Split Pea" experience my advice is to use the ham hock with already-cooked ham stuck to it or turkey bacon because of this grease..

Use an immersible hand blender to make your soup a bit more creamy and to have an even consistency.

 Pea soup is rather thick -- it's kind of porridge-like, and if it sits out it will get a tiny bit of "skin" on it. 

This is normal.

Cook remaining pieces of turkey bacon on the stove and crumble over the top, or add any additional ham you still have in your fridge.

The Verdict.

I was really pleased with the way this turned out! 

Way better than the canned stuff.

Happy Slow Cooking!! Have a wonderful day!!

Best split pea soup, ever! This is the same recipe they use in the famous Anderson's Split Pea soup from Buellton California. You can make it vegetarian, or vegan, or add ham or bacon. Naturally gluten free!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at March 26, 2017

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What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous3/26/2008

    Oh Yum! I will have to try this one. I have some split peas in my pantry I need to use up. I like your turkey bacon option. I'm not allergic to pork but I'm just not fond of it.

  2. Anonymous3/26/2008

    thank u for the use-turkey-bacon tip instead of pork. those dried peas in the cupboard are gonna hit the pot today. i love your crockpot site.

  3. Anonymous3/26/2008

    Split pea soup is my favorite (albiet ONLY) recipe that I consistently make in the crock pot. It always turns out fabulous and my husband loves it. And it is very healthy too.

    My recipe is very similar but I sautee onion and garlic with some oregano and (my secret ingredient) a little bit of curry powder... then I add all the ingredients to the crock pot.

    Was happy to see this up today! I'm a huge fan of your website.

  4. Anonymous3/26/2008

    I love this site...these recipes are great! I'm using my crockpot so much more now!

  5. Anonymous3/26/2008

    congratulations on reaching day 86 of your new years resolution to crock pot. my ny's plans got lost back in february.

  6. Oh this looks very good! I have some peas I could use too...

  7. Anonymous3/26/2008

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. steph! you're allergic to pork?

    oh, my sweet dear. that's worse then being allergic to wheat!

  9. Anonymous3/27/2008

    Oh! I too have a few bags of dried peas that I have been wanting to use. I am not a big pea fan but something about this soup makes me want to try it. I just bought a cusinart hand blender and I am waiting on it to get here so I think this will be what I try. Also, I like the idea that you used turkey instead of pork. I do not eat pork nor do my family. I can not wait to try this YUM!

  10. Thanks for the recipe! I really appreciate you going that extra mile for us "trying to use the crockpot" people! When I get back from my mini vacation, I am definately gpoing to make this. I froze my ham hock, should I thaw or put in frozen?

  11. Anonymous3/28/2008

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Now I know why I love your blog and recipes. You are gluten and pork free like me. The only converting I have to do is for the dairy. I love it. Thank you for making it easy for me. You have been a blessing.

  13. i can't wait to try this. Thank you!

  14. I've been hankering for pea soup and thought I'd check your blog for a recipe. Yours looks a lot like mine, but I've never put a potato in mine. Will have to give that a try. When I have my leftovers (which I plan on), I cut up a left over brotwurst in it. Yummo. But your bacon on top looks delish!

  15. This was great! I omitted any meat and added 1T Herbs de provence when I out everything in the pot. Delish, thanks!

  16. If you don't want to use pork or turkey bacon, just use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Tastes wonderful!

  17. Anonymous4/21/2010

    I just got your cookbook a couple of days ago and am in the process of cooking this soup today. I had a lovely smoked ham bone to throw in.

    My mouth is watering just thinking about this soup waiting for me at home.

    Yummy - thanks

  18. I have this cooking in the slow cooker right now and it smells soooooooooo good! Can't wait until dinnertime.

  19. Trying it right now.

  20. Just found your blog and you have me inspired to use my slow cookers much more. I have a bunch of them, but usually only use them to keep food warm before Thanksgiving dinner, or to make steel cut oats in.
    I tried this recipe tonight with the ham left over from a Costco spiral cut one that we had as part of Thanksgiving dinner and it was really good. I cooked it for 4 hours on high in a Rival 6 1/2 quart cooker and substituted chicken broth for the vegetable broth as that is what I had in the house.
    I will definitely be making this again, especially as it can be made with turkey bacon.

  21. Anonymous12/23/2010

    I'm going to make this for a post holiday family gathering. SOunds great.

  22. Anonymous2/21/2011

    Thanks for the great recipe! I tried this last week using 1 lb. split peas, the Trader Joe's turkey bacon, onion, potato, carrots, and 8 cups of vegetable broth plus 1 cup of water. I like a thick soup and it turned out really nice and thick. I can't imagine putting only 5 cups of liquid (cooked it on high for about 4-5 hours).

  23. I've made a similar recipe using smoked turkey sausage rather than ham/pork/bacon. I am allergic to pork as well and bacon in any form makes me feel sick. So that works for us.

  24. Anonymous5/09/2011

    When we first tried this it was really thick and strong tasting, so I checked comments. After reading the idea for diluting it we ended up doubling the amount of water, and now it's sooooo delicious! We add one part soup to one part water whenever we get a bowl and that's let us adjust the thickness to individual taste. Then the leftovers also only take up half the room to store. We'll be making this again very soon.

  25. sally d.12/04/2011

    Okay, I can't believe how easy, inexpensive and delicious this recipe is!

    I bought split yellow peas yesterday because they were so cheap. Less than a dollar!

    I had everything else to make the soup, including some old veggie broth frozen in the freezer.

    I did not include ham/ham bone or potato, and added a bit of dried red pepper flakes that I made at the end of the summer. Will have for dinner later in the week. Even without the ham, there is plenty of flavor.

  26. I just made this yesterday with a hamhock I had frozen after Easter dinner. Wow. I did it old-school, too; rough cut the carrots and onion, didn't peel the potatoes, just thre it all in and turned the pot on. It was super easy and super delicious. My husband proclaimed it was "a whole meal in a bowl!" Music to my ears for my hungry man.

  27. Anonymous4/17/2017

    It is said that the green stuff coming out of the young girl in the movie The Exorcist is Anderson's Split Pea soup. Been there several times. the place is great.

  28. Buellton is a mandatory stop on any trip up the coast. We stop there before we go to Solvang so we don't get tempted by pastries. There is also a Pea Soup Andersons on I-5 in Santa Nella. Love their pastries and their soup. Their travelers special is our usual order.
    I just found out that my nieces boyfriend threw out my hambone from yesterday so I'll mosey on down to Honey Baked and see if they have any leftovers from Easter. I've made my dad's pea soup since I was a teenager. It goes over well in this house. Ham bone and bay leaf for 2 hours, deconstruct the hambone, add sorted yellow split peas (no green ones here) and carrots, some potatos and celery..maybe a touch of dried onion and let it go. It's always better the 2nd day when it's thicker.

  29. Anonymous4/18/2017

    Funny, I was just preparing to set out all my ingredients tonight for in the morning to make a split pea soup in the crockpot...with the Easter ham and carrots, etc. Can't wait for tomorrow's supper.

  30. This was very good but I need to increase the liquid I think. After 4 hours on high, it was very thick. Upon sitting, it has hardened up like a solid paste. The pot I have has a small hole in the top so wonder if the liquid evaporated? Shall add more liquid next time for sure.