Slow Cooker Sunday: Basic Split Pea Soup

“peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”

There’s nothing like hot soup on a cold, snowy day, and one of my favorites is split pea. There are precisely one bajillion variations, but here is a basic one that is so easy to memorize, a recipe is hardly needed. Slow cookers do very well with soup, and split pea is no exception. This makes a great deal of soup, but it freezes well, and while I don’t recommend leaving it in the pot for nine days, you can definitely make it last for awhile. As for cold, split peas thicken up a lot when cooled, and it makes a great sandwich spread or wrap filling with a little lettuce and tomato. The ingredients are also very cheap, so this is a great way to save some money after all that Christmas shopping.

Basic Split Pea Soup


1 lb split peas (approx. 2 C)

6 C water or stock (if using water, some bouillon is nice)

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

2-3 each, chopped:

  • potatoes (peeled if desired for a smoother soup)
  • carrots
  • stalks celery
  • cloves garlic

2-3 teaspoons each:

  • paprika
  • dry mustard
  • Bragg’s or soy sauce
  • cider vinegar

2-3 dashes each: (optional)

  • liquid smoke
  • Tabasco

salt and pepper to taste


Slow (easy) Way:

Put all ingredients except wet seasonings into slow cooker, and cook on LOW until done, about 6-8 hours. If possible, stir occasionally. 30-60 minutes before serving, add wet seasonings.  You may puree the soup, or leave it chunky, as you prefer.

Faster: (fast slow cooker?)

One hour on HIGH is roughly equivalent to two hours on LOW. So, this dish could be done in 3-4 hours if cooked on HIGH. I did this for lunch, by starting the peas in a preheated cooker and adding boiling water from the tea kettle. I let the peas cook on their own for a couple hours. Then I sauteed the veggies separately and continued as above.


On the stove top, start the peas in water and cook for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, saute veggies separately, then add to peas, and season as above. Cook until peas are done, total time is usually 60-75 minutes.

Greener Veggie Version:

Add a couple cups of chopped broccoli and a couple handfuls of spinach. Other root veggies could be used in addition to, or in place of, the potatoes and carrots, like parsnips, turnips, or yams.

Curry Version:

Replace paprika with curry powder. Replace mustard with a teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin. Skip the wet seasonings. This is best with yellow split peas. Add a handful of  frozen green peas. Add a couple cups of chopped cauliflower and/or spinach if desired.

About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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