How to Cook Pea and Ham Soup in a Slow Cooker?

Pea and ham soup in a slow cooker? You may be wondering how it is possible to make this tasty dish without having to stand over the stove for hours. The answer is simple: use your slow cooker! This recipe will show you how to cook pea and ham soup in a slow cooker, or crockpot.

pea and ham soup in a slow cooker
Pea and ham soup. Credit: canva

It will also provide tips on ingredients, cooking time, clean-up instructions, and more!

What Is Pea and Ham Soup?

Pea and ham soup is a hearty soup. It is a filling dish that can be served by itself or as the first course of a larger meal. It’s typically made with peas (usually in the form of split peas), fresh mint, salt, and pepper to taste, lemon juice if desired for added flavor, milk or cream (or both), potatoes cut into small cubes for added texture and thickness–and of course, ham.

What Is the Different between Peas and Split Peas?

The difference between green peas and green split peas is that the split peas are dried, while the peas are fresh.

Among vegetables, peas are prepared and cooked quickly. Frozen or canned green peas can be boiled or microwaved to heat through while fresh peas can be eaten raw or steamed to soften them.

Split peas require more work.  To prepare them, you need to bring water and dried split peas to a boil, lower the heat in order for it to simmer, and cook for about 30-45 minutes.

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Pea and Ham Soup?

The good news is that pea and ham soup can provide you with a ton of benefits. They’re high in protein and fiber and low in fat.

For example, it’s packed full of protein to keep your body strong; includes fiber which helps maintain healthy bowel movements; contains vitamins C, A, and K; and provides folate, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, and riboflavin.

This pea soup is also great for the winter season. The classic pea and ham soup is a great way to warm yourself up over the cooler months.

What Is a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker is also known as a crockpot.

What Is the Purpose of Using One?

The purpose is to cook food at a lower temperature for an extended period of time in order for it to get tender.

It’s perfect when you have other things that need your attention while cooking–with this, all you have to do is focus on the other aspects of your day and let it cook while you’re busy.

What Are Some Slow Cooker Safety Tips?

There are a few safety tips that will help prevent accidents in the kitchen. The first thing you should always remember with any appliance is NEVER place them directly onto the stovetop or another heat source.

You should also NEVER cook on high heat, as this can cause food to burn and possibly start a fire. Lastly, be sure not to overfill the slow cooker with too much content in order for it to properly work–this is especially true of soups or chili.

What Is the Cooking Time?

This will vary depending on the type of food you’re cooking. A general rule is that it will take about six hours on a low setting, or three to four hours on a high setting.

What Are Clean-Up Instructions?

The clean-up instructions for this recipe are as follows: all dishes should be washed immediately after use and dried; pots can be soaked in hot water with a little detergent; the slow cooker should be wiped down and left to air dry.

Why Do You Need Slow Cooker for Cooking Pea and Ham Soup?

Cooking pea and ham soup can take a long time. A slow cooker is perfect for cooking pea and ham soup because the food can be left to cook without being monitored, which means you don’t have to stand over a stovetop.

How to Cook Pea and Ham Soup in a Slow Cooker?

If you have never cooked pea and ham soup in the slow cooker before or are looking for some tips on how to make it, here is what you need to know:

  1. Select your crockpot size. It can be small, medium, or large.
  2. Gather and chop your fresh mint to taste (start with a handful). You can use dried herbs if you desire but the flavor will not be as robust.
  3. Peel potatoes–you want them in about ¼” cubes for best texture. Leave the skin on when possible because it provides a lot of fiber and nutrition.
  4. Dice ham to your preference – more if you like it chunky, less for a smoother texture.
  5. Pour in milk or cream (or both) with salt and pepper to taste. Add enough liquid so that the potatoes are barely covered but not waterlogged. You do not want the potatoes to soak in the liquid.
  6. Put your crockpot on high for two hours if you are using a small slow cooker or four hours if you’re using a large one. Remember that every slow cooker cooks differently so be sure to check at least once during the cooking time and adjust accordingly–it’s better to undercook than overcook!
  7. Turn down heat to low and cook the soup for an additional four hours. If you are using a medium crockpot, it will take six hours on low or eight hours on high. You want your potatoes to become tender but not disintegrate into mush so be sure to check periodically while they’re cooking.
  8. You can serve your soup as-is or add more flavor with salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon juice if desired, or parsley for garnish before serving.
  9. Do not forget about the clean-up! You will need hot water (at least two cups), dish soap (one tablespoon), and a large bowl or pot.
How to Cook Pea and Ham Soup in a Slow Cooker?
Pea and ham soup. Credit: canva

Easy Slow-Cooker Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4-8 hours
  • Serve: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. split peas (about 2 c.)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs thyme (or 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger 
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 meaty ham bone or leftover ham bone
  • 1 Teaspoon salt (kosher)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Place split peas on the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Add in onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, ginger, and red pepper flakes. 
  3. Pour broth over and add ham bone. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours, until the peas are completely soft. 
  5. Chop the meat and removing any bone, fat, or skin before returning it to the soup.
  6. Serve this delicious soup.

This soup freezes well. Just the soup in airtight container and keep it in the freezer. If you want to eat it, microwave on high until the split pea soup is piping hot. 

Serving Suggestions

Now that your soup is ready, you are ready to eat it. But, when a bowl of soup isn’t satisfying enough for your hunger, a flavorful side dish can make it a filling meal.

Here are several dishes that can be served to accompany your soup:

  1. Garlic Croutons/Fried Garlic Bread
  2. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  3. Cornbread
  4. Fried Garlic Chips
  5. French’s Onions
  6. Potato and Green Bean Salad
  7. Baked Stuffed Potatoes
  8. Buttermilk Biscuits
  9. Shrimp Avocado Salad
  10. Baked Cheese and Veggie Quesadillas

FAQs

Do split peas have to be soaked before cooking?

Not all peas need to be soaked overnight in water to shorten cooking time. Split peas absorb lots of water, so check your soup often and add liquid as needed. The pea should only cook until it is tender enough before serving for best results.

What happens if you don’t Rinse split peas?

Special care should be taken when washing the split peas as their starches are exposed and will leach out into the water. The water in which the peas have been washed will appear cloudy, but it is not dirty; this is because of its starch content. Washing split peas quickly can help to avoid a loss of nutrients and flavor.

Is pea and ham soup good for you?

This pea and ham soup would be ideal to try as it contains 22g of protein. The ingredients in this recipe will also help you avoid fat-storing blood sugar spikes. It’s important to remember that while some carbs are excellent for a healthy lifestyle, an overload can lead to weight gain.

Why are my split peas not softening?

If your split peas haven’t softened after this length of cooking time, there may be an issue with either the peas or water. If the peas used are old and dried out, then it will take more time to cook them properly.

If the water you use for making the soup is hard with lots of dissolved minerals, it can stop the peas from softening.

See also: How to Make Australian Traditional Damper Recipe?