Slow Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup
You won’t believe how easy it is to have seconds when eating this hearty split pea and ham soup with smoked gouda cheese.
If I had to rate my favorite kitchen items, my slow cooker would be at the top of the list.
It’s not that I use it more than other things in my kitchen, it’s because a slow cooker allows me to make dinner when it’s most convenient for me to make it.
I can make dinner in the morning or early afternoon by just putting the ingredients in the pot, setting the cook time, and dinner is all but done.
I guess the one down side is cleaning that big old slow cooker pot.
But it’s a small price to pay for how easy it is to use.
My inspiration for making this split pea soup is not only because it tastes really good, but also because I was a bit overzealous when buying a ham that was on sale.
Let’s just say that I have an excessive overstock of ham leftovers in my freezer, and it’s time to move out that inventory…right into the crock pot.
This delicious split pea soup is made with a couple twists.
One is that juice from a whole lemon is added which slightly offsets the sweetness of the peas; and another is that when the hot soup is served, it’s topped with finely shredded smoked gouda cheese, and small pieces of crispy ham.
The soup and the toppings taste wonderful together.
Sometimes I like split pea soup more on the thin side and sometimes more on the thick side.
This recipe is in between the two, not too thin and not too thick.
But you may have to adjust the thickness to your liking.
Leftovers store nicely in the refrigerator but you’ll notice that the soup will thicken up a lot after it’s chilled.
So when reheating the soup you may want to add a bit of water.
Let’s check out the ingredients.
For the Soup – dried green split peas, cooked ham, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, chicken broth, fresh lemon juice, bay leaves, dried thyme, salt, pepper, parsley and water
For the Toppings – small pieces of chopped cooked ham, olive oil and finely shredded smoked gouda cheese
A printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.
Here’s how to make it.
For the Soup:
In a slow cooker pot, add the dried green split peas, pieces of cooked ham, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Next, add juice from one lemon, and…
Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.
For the Crispy Ham Topping:
While the soup is cooking, the crispy ham topping can be made…
…heat a small skillet on medium heat and add olive oil.
To the pan, add small pieces of chopped ham and stir.
Sauté until the edges of the ham start to crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to a storage container.
Store in the refrigerator until the soup is ready to serve, then slightly warm up the crispy ham in the microwave, just enough to take the chill off (about 5 seconds).
Final Touches and Serving the Soup:
Right after the soup is done cooking,
remove and discard the bay leaves, stir and…
add chopped parsley.
Stir together and…
…serve while hot.
Top with finely shredded smoked gouda cheese, small crispy pieces of ham, and garnish with parsley.
stir in the toppings if you like, and…
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For the Soup:
- 1 pound dried green split peas rinsed well (and sorted/examined for dirt, rocks or bad peas)
- 2 cups chopped or small pulled (shredded) pieces of cooked ham
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 container (32 ounces) chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
For the Crispy Ham Topping:
- 1 cup chopped (in small pieces) cooked ham
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Topping and Garnish:
- 1/2 cup finely shredded smoked gouda cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
For the Soup:
- In a slow cooker pot, add dried green split peas, pieces of cooked ham, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, dried thyme, salt and pepper, lemon juice, chicken broth, water and stir.
- Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 6 hours. Right after the soup is done cooking, remove and discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley.
For the Crispy Ham Topping (made while the soup is cooking):
- Heat a small skillet on medium heat and add olive oil.
- To the pan, add small pieces of chopped ham and stir. Sauté until the edges of the ham start to crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to a storage container.
- Store in the refrigerator until the soup is ready to serve.
Serving the Soup:
- Slightly warm up the crispy ham in the microwave, just enough to take the chill off (about 5 seconds).
- Serve while hot and top with finely shredded smoked gouda, pieces of crispy ham and garnish with parsley.
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