How To Make Split Pea Soup In Crock Pot [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Split pea soup is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for cold weather. Making it in a crock pot not only saves time, but also allows for a rich and flavorful soup due to the slow cooking process. This article will guide you through the process of making split pea soup in a crock pot, from selecting the ingredients to troubleshooting common issues.

Quick Answer: How Long To Make Split Pea Soup In Crock Pot

Split pea soup typically takes about 8-10 hours to cook in a crock pot on low heat, or 4-6 hours on high heat. The exact time may vary based on the specific recipe and the ingredients used.

Selection

Split Peas

When making split pea soup, selecting high-quality split peas is crucial. Look for bright green split peas that are uniform in size without any discoloration or signs of being old.

Ham Hock Or Ham

For a traditional split pea soup, ham hock or ham can add a rich, smoky flavor. Look for a meaty ham hock or smoked ham with good marbling for the best flavor.

Vegetables

Onions, carrots, and celery are common vegetables used in split pea soup. Ensure they are fresh and firm for the best results.

Herbs And Spices

Bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper are often used to season split pea soup. Ensure they are fresh and aromatic.

Preparation

Soaking The Split Peas

While soaking split peas isn’t necessary, it can help reduce the cooking time. To soak the split peas, place them in a bowl or pot and cover them with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once soaked, rinse and drain before using.

Crock Pot Cooking Times For Split Pea Soup

Low Heat

Cooking split pea soup on low heat in a crock pot typically takes 8-10 hours. This longer cooking time helps develop the flavors and tenderize the ingredients.

High Heat

If you’re short on time, cooking split pea soup on high heat in a crock pot will take about 4-6 hours. While this method is quicker, the flavors may not develop as fully as with low heat cooking.

How To Make Split Pea Soup In Crock Pot

Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients

  • Rinse the split peas under cold water and drain.
  • Chop the onions, carrots, and celery.
  • If using a ham hock, rinse it under cold water.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients In Crock Pot

  • Place the rinsed split peas, chopped vegetables, ham hock (if using), bay leaves, thyme, and black pepper in the crock pot.
  • Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. The broth should cover the ingredients by about an inch.

Step 3: Cook The Soup

  • Set the crock pot to low or high heat, depending on how quickly you want the soup to cook.
  • Allow the soup to cook for the recommended time, stirring occasionally and checking for doneness of the split peas and tenderness of the vegetables.

Step 4: Remove The Ham Hock And Season

  • If using a ham hock, carefully remove it from the soup once the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  • Shred the ham from the hock and discard any bones or excess fat.
  • Return the shredded ham to the soup and discard the bay leaves.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Soup Is Too Thick

If the soup turns out thicker than desired, simply add more broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.

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Soup Is Too Thin

Conversely, if the soup is too thin, you can either continue cooking it with the lid off to allow some liquid to evaporate, or create a cornstarch slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and stirring it into the soup. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

Split Peas Are Not Breaking Down

In some cases, split peas may not fully break down during cooking, resulting in a chunkier texture. If this occurs, use an immersion blender to puree a portion of the soup directly in the crock pot to achieve the desired consistency.

Making split pea soup in a crock pot is a convenient and hands-off way to create a delicious and nourishing dish. By carefully selecting high-quality ingredients, following proper preparation techniques, and adjusting cooking times based on your schedule, you can enjoy a flavorful and comforting bowl of split pea soup. With the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you are equipped to confidently prepare this beloved soup in your crock pot, tailored to your taste preferences and dietary needs.

Achieving Perfect Texture

Split pea soup is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for chilly days. It is a classic dish made with split peas, vegetables, and various seasonings. One of the best ways to prepare split pea soup is by using a crock pot. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a delicious and satisfying soup.

One of the challenges when cooking split pea soup is achieving the perfect texture. Split peas have a tendency to become mushy if overcooked. With a crock pot, however, you can easily achieve the ideal consistency.

To achieve the perfect texture, it is important to soak the split peas before cooking. Soaking the peas overnight will help soften them, reducing the cooking time in the crock pot. This step is optional, but highly recommended for optimal results.

Once soaked, drain and rinse the split peas before adding them to the crock pot. This will remove any impurities and starch, resulting in a cleaner and smoother soup. It is also important to use the correct amount of liquid. Typically, a ratio of four cups of liquid to one cup of split peas is recommended. This will ensure that the split peas have enough liquid to fully cook and soften without becoming mushy.

Flavor Infusion

One of the advantages of using a crock pot for split pea soup is the ability to infuse flavors over a long period of time. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and flavorful soup.

To infuse maximum flavor into your split pea soup, start by sautéing aromatics such as onions, garlic, and carrots before adding them to the crock pot. This step helps to release their natural flavors and enhances the overall taste of the soup. Sauté the vegetables until they are softened and fragrant, then transfer them to the crock pot.

In addition to the aromatics, it is important to use the right selection of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor profile of the soup. Popular choices include bay leaves, thyme, and smoked paprika. These herbs and spices add depth and complexity to the soup, creating a more satisfying eating experience.

Aroma

One of the most enjoyable aspects of cooking split pea soup in a crock pot is the delightful aroma that fills your kitchen as it simmers. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop and permeate the air, creating an inviting and comforting atmosphere.

To enhance the aroma of your split pea soup, consider adding a ham bone or smoked ham hocks to the crock pot. The smoky and savory aroma of the ham will infuse into the soup, adding an irresistible depth of flavor. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can achieve a similar effect by using a combination of smoked paprika and liquid smoke.

Cooking Techniques

To ensure that your split pea soup cooks evenly and thoroughly in the crock pot, follow these cooking techniques:

  1. Layering: Start by layering the ingredients in the crock pot. Place the split peas at the bottom, followed by the sautéed vegetables, herbs, and spices. This helps distribute the flavors evenly throughout the soup.

  2. Cooking Time: Cook the split pea soup on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours. The longer cooking time on low heat allows the flavors to develop and the split peas to fully soften. However, if you are short on time, cooking on high heat can still yield delicious results.

  3. Stirring: During the cooking process, occasionally stir the split pea soup to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. However, limit the stirring to avoid breaking down the split peas and creating a mushy texture.

  4. Adjusting Seasonings: Towards the end of the cooking time, taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as needed. You may need to add more salt, pepper, or other spices to achieve the desired flavor balance.

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Crock Pot Tips For Split Pea Soup

Here are a few additional tips to ensure success when making split pea soup in a crock pot:

  1. Preparation: Before adding the ingredients to the crock pot, make sure to thoroughly rinse the split peas and chop the vegetables to a consistent size. This will help ensure even cooking and a uniform texture.

  2. Trimming and Soaking: If using a ham bone or smoked ham hocks, trim off any excess fat before adding them to the crock pot. Also, consider soaking the ham bone or smoked ham hocks in water for a few hours to reduce the saltiness. Drain and rinse the bones before adding them to the crock pot.

  3. Using Stock: For an extra depth of flavor, consider using chicken or vegetable stock as part of the liquid. This adds richness and complexity to the soup.

  4. Garnishing: When serving split pea soup, consider garnishing with fresh chopped parsley, croutons, or a dollop of sour cream. These additions can elevate the presentation and add a burst of freshness to each bowl.

Creative Crock Pot Split Pea Soup Recipes

While the traditional split pea soup recipe is delicious on its own, there are a few creative variations you can try in your crock pot to add a unique twist to the classic dish.

  1. Spicy Split Pea Soup: Add a kick of heat to your split pea soup by incorporating diced jalapeños or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. This variation adds a layer of heat that complements the richness of the soup.

  2. Curried Split Pea Soup: For an exotic twist, add curry powder or paste to your split pea soup. This adds a fragrant and aromatic element that pairs well with the earthy flavor of split peas.

  3. Smoky Bacon Split Pea Soup: Replace the ham bone or smoked ham hocks with cooked and crumbled bacon. The smoky flavor of the bacon adds a delicious twist to the classic split pea soup.

  4. Lemon Herb Split Pea Soup: Add a burst of freshness to your split pea soup by adding lemon juice and fresh herbs such as dill or parsley. The citrusy flavor of the lemon juice brightens the soup, while the herbs add a subtle and refreshing note.

Conclusion

Making split pea soup in a crock pot is a wonderful way to enjoy this classic comfort dish. With the slow cooking process, the flavors meld together beautifully, creating a rich and satisfying meal. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can achieve the perfect texture, flavor infusion, and aroma in your split pea soup. So gather your ingredients, fire up your crock pot, and indulge in a warm bowl of homemade split pea soup.

FAQS

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make Split Pea Soup In A Crock Pot?

To make split pea soup in a crock pot, you will need split peas, ham hocks or ham bone, onions, celery, garlic, carrots, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and water or chicken broth.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Split Pea Soup In A Crock Pot?

It typically takes about 6-8 hours on low heat setting or 4-6 hours on high heat setting to fully cook the split pea soup in a crock pot.

Can I Use Other Types Of Meat Besides Ham For Split Pea Soup In A Crock Pot?

You may substitute ham with smoked turkey or chicken if you prefer. You may also skip the meat for a vegetarian version of the soup.

Can I Freeze Leftover Split Pea Soup Made In A Crock Pot?

Yes, you can freeze leftover split pea soup made in a crock pot. Allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

How Can I Adjust The Consistency Of Split Pea Soup In A Crock Pot If It Turns Out Too Thick Or Thin?

If the soup is too thick, you may add some water or broth to thin it out. If the soup is too thin, you may puree a portion of the soup with an immersion blender or transfer a portion to a blender and puree until smooth, then add it back to the pot.