Slow Cooker Split Pea and Bacon Soup is everything you expect from this classic dish made simply in advance.
We all know what we should be eating: whole grains, lean proteins, leafy greens, so on and so forth. So what’s stopping us? Whether it’s time that gets in the way or lack of ideas, here’s a new easy and quick soup to try! Slow Cooker Split Pea and Bacon Soup comes together in a matter of minutes, letting you walk away to get other work done and let it cook itself! Want to save even more time? Make a double batch and save for busy weekday lunches or pop in the freezer for another day.
- Bacon: Use turkey bacon if you want to cut down on sodium and fat, but either way bacon adds a delicious and salty protein to the soup.
- Onion: Using a yellow or white onion adds mild flavor to the soup as well as vitamin C.
- Celery: While it doesn’t add much in flavor, celery maintains a level of crunch in the soup and is chalk full of vitamins and nutrition.
- Carrots: Somewhat sweet in flavor, carrots are especially high in vitamins A and K.
- Split green peas: These dried and hulled peas cook easily and are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and zinc.
- Thyme: Adds an earthy, lemony taste to the soup.
- Bay leaves: While you don’t want to eat them, when soaked in a soup they add a mild, almost minty aroma and flavor.
- Chicken stock: Adds flavor to the broth of the soup.
How to Make Slow Cooker Split Pea and Bacon Soup
I always start my meals by prepping all my ingredients at once, so wash your produce, and peel and dice away.
Then in a pan, cook your bacon that has been cut into thin slices and pieces.
Then in the bowl of a slow cooker, add your diced onion and the cooked bacon.
Next, add the split peas, carrot, and celery to the bowl.
Then toss in the bay leaf and thyme.
After that you’ll pour in the chicken broth.
Followed by the water.
Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, stir it all together, and put the lid on. Set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours or high for 4, and walk away!
When finished, remove the bay leaf and serve garnished with fresh parsley. Then enjoy your Slow Cooker Split Pea and Bacon Soup!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do split peas need to be soaked before cooking?
Soaking split peas shortens their cooking time, but it’s not necessary. Especially when using a slow cooker.
Why rinse split peas before cooking?
While they don’t need to be soaked, depending on your split peas, you may consider rinsing them to get rid of any remaining dirt.
Can you freeze split pea soup?
Yes! It’s a great freezer friendly soup for meal prepping. Put it in a freezer safe resealable bag and keep for up to 3 months.
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Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your soup.
By taking a few minutes at the beginning of your day to throw this soup in the slow cooker, you will be rewarded with a hearty, satisfying soup packed with the protein, fiber, and nutrients your body craves.
Your spoon is waiting.
Slow Cooker Split Pea and Bacon Soup
- 2 slices bacon (sliced into thin strips)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 1 cup split green peas (uncooked)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 leaves bay
- 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon strips in a medium pan over medium-high heat until crispy and browned; set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- In a slow cooker, add all remaining ingredients including the cooked bacon.
- Heat on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
This was super delicious! I like my split pea soup thicker – like my Nana’s – so I added a slurry of potato starch (I am a recent potato starch convert- love it!) for the last hour and the consistency was perfect… just like Nana’s! My butcher had some really nice thick-sliced applewood bacon… this gave the perfect smokiness to the dish.
I will definitely do this again. I love to experiment with recipes, so next time I think I will substitute the carrots and onion for potatoes and leeks.
That sounds incredible! So glad you enjoyed!
This recipe is just what I was looking for. I made some slow cooker split pea soup yesterday and was thinking it would have been better with bacon. One suggestion I have from my experience yesterday is adding cornstarch if the soup seems too thin. I dissolved a few tablespoons in some cold water until I had a concoction about ranch dressing consistently, then I added a few tablespoons to the soup while it was boiling, and let it boil about three minutes more. It thickened nicely.
I also have one request for future recipes as I’m a very inexperienced cook. Would it be possible to list in future recipes the size slow cooker you are using for the recipes. That would be a big help for me, and I’m sure for other novices out there.
That’s a wonderful suggestion! I’ll be sure to include that going forward.
I have always cooked my split pea soup on the stove but wanted to try using a slow cooker. I used two pounds split peas along with 2 cartons of chicken stock and 2 cups water, (total 8 cups) plus seasonings, ham and vegetables for 9 hours. Flavor is very good but very watery. I also purred the soup. I’m hoping it will thicken. Can I continue to leave it on low? How long would it be safe to do so? I hate thinking I have to transfer it to a pot because I won’t be serving it for another 6 hours. Any suggestions Thank you.
I would keep it on warm if I were you!
I’ve tries this recipe multiple times and I am very pleased with the results. It’s cheap, and easy, and tastes great. I have added more of the veggies to make it more hearty. It is a watery soup, not what I expected at first, but it turned out just right. Now I am trying a different approach. I added some potatoes and mushrooms, to empty my fridge from stuff that was going to go bad, and did stew beef chunks instead of bacon. I also added some roasted hatch chilies to make up for the cold weather. This is a recipe I will use quite often, but this time, I’m trying to expand and experiment with this recipe. I love lentil soup and this recipe reminded me quite a bit of it. I’ll let you ‘now how the experiment turned out.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Love that you’re making it your own – that’s what cooking is all about!!
Just as an update, the experimental recipe turned out amazing. The beef was so very tender.
I’m so glad to hear that!
I’ve tried many different pea soup recipes and all call for a full 1 lb. bag of split peas (about 2 cups). So that’s what I did. It’s in the crock pot now, so I can’t speak to how it came out but just noticed many others said their soup came out watery. I think that’s definitely because of only calling for 1 cup of split peas. Using a full bag should fix the problem.
Let me know how you like it!
The soup had a great flavor! I didn’t think it was too watery, but I did use the whole bag of split peas. I also used about 4 strips of bacon and just a pinch of thyme. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly and it came out great. Thanks!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Made this on Monday! First time I’ve made split pea soup from scratch. Might be the first time I’ve cooked bacon, too! It’s definitely different from the variety I’m used to, which is thicker and almost stew-like. I was going to ask if maybe I’d undercooked this due to it lacking that quality (I’m not familiar with how split peas cook up or act), but my product looks a lot like your photos. I’m assuming it came out as it should. I might just have to eyeball other recipes and see what differs. Or maybe you know? Regardless, I really enjoyed this. It tastes very clean. I appreciate that you left the salt and pepper up to taste completely. I have some of this waiting for me for dinner tonight. :)
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yes it’s definitely a bit thinner but you can always add cornstarch to thicken. Glad you enjoyed!
I made this tonight and it was delish. All 5 kids and the hubby approved ☺️. I did double the split peas and used 4 slices of center cut bacon and spiced it up with some smoked paprika after reading some of the other comments. Came out the perfect consistency. Thanks for the recipe
I’m so glad you all enjoyed it!!!
I am embarrassed to say that I have only eaten split pea soup from a can because for some reason I thought it was more complicated then this and I am the only one I know that eats it. So wish me luck I’m fixing to start my first ever pot of home made split pea soup….
Trust me my husband is addicted to canned soup! I get it!
I also had the problem with it being very watery, I’ve had it in the crock pot for 10 hours now. The recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, I think I’ll just use the broth without the water next time.
Oh shoot – I’m so sorry it was too watery for your taste Marilyn!! I hope you still enjoyed it!
I’ve heard that variations in final liquid levels can be due to differences in the slow cooker. People who have very tight lids that do not let out a lot of steam may have a more liquid final product. My slow cooker is missing a few bolts in the lid and it lets out enough steam that I have to be careful when cooking something with minimum liquid that it doesn’t dry out!
That’s a great point Julia thank you!
Just about to make this in my slow cooker, I’ll let you know what it turns out like ….
Bacon gives this a hit of flavour. For those that can’t have bacon I’d use one or more of ham flavoured seasoning (vegetarian), smoked paprika or liquid smoke. I will be giving this one a try.
The flavor is good but I agree…very watery and not like any split pea soup,that I have ever had
Oh no I’m sorry yours was watery Wendy!! I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor regardless.
I found this recipe and was so excited to try it. I love Split Pea Soup! I currently have this in my crock-pot with only one more hour of cooking time to go. It smells wonderful in my house; however, I am getting a little worried. The soup looks VERY watery! I followed the recipe to the T, and it looks watery. I even gave it a little stir, thinking the peas maybe just needed to move around a bit.. but still watery! Is this how your recipe is supposed to be?? I am used to split pea soup being on the thicker side. I’ve actually never seen watery split pea soup. I just hope it tastes good..
Hi Jennifer – How did it turn out?? Mine got really thick over time and if it’s not thick enough, just continue to cook it down and more of the liquid will evaporate. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!
The flavor is really good, but it did stay very watery. I even let it cook a little longer, and turned it up to high. =( Not sure what happened because I followed the directions exactly as they were listed. The important thing is that it tastes good!
Oh no!! I’m so sorry. I will say, it’s not supposed to be thick like it is out of a can. It’s definitely a bit more brothy. But still I’m sorry it wasn’t what you were looking for. I’ll make a note to the recipe to reduce the liquid if you want a thicker soup. Thank you for your helpful feedback!
Try just 1 carton of chicken broth b/c I saw somebody on YouTube with virtually the same recipe & his came out very thick! Hope that helps …Look Up Jack Snow on YouTube & type in “Slow Cooker Pea Soup”…
Just a minor correction Liz, the name of the man is “Jack Show” & not Jack Snow…Hope the info helped as I’m working on my Pea Soup as we speak…
Hi my father always used to shred a potato into his pea soup and it was thick and delicious. He also used to use half green and half yellow peas…. this gave it a really great colour!
Making this today, burned the bacon, will search for paprika if needed. Thanks Liz!
Yum!!! Let me know how it turns out!!! Enjoy sista!
So, I had this in my slow cooker (double batch) for 4 hours on high. Everything came together beautifully, used veggie broth, pearl onions, thyme made it super tasty. Only problem? HARD PEAS. Left it on overnight on low (adding another 12ish hours). HARD PEAS. Brought to work today, heated up. HARD PEAS. I used a potato masher, but those darn peas are not budging! Any ideas? Put on the stove? Use immersion blender?
Umm….That’s bizarre. I normally don’t even soak mine. Is it a brand you’ve used before? Was there enough liquid? I can’t imagine how on earth they wouldn’t soften after 4 hours on high let alone 12 hours overnight!! So sorry – the only thing I can say is perhaps they were really old peas? So sorry.
Happy New Year Liz! :)
I love the idea of slow cooker split pea – I don’t do pork but I am going to print this and make with turkey bacon!
Adding this to my list to try! I have the lentil with bacon soup in queue, too! Cheers, friend…here’s to a wonderful 2013!
This looks insanely delicious. And healthy too! And hearty. I could add many “ands” to this one.
Thanks so much Joanne – I love letting the slow cooker do all the work!! Happy New Year friend!
Awesome….was thinking that New Years Day would be a good day for a healthy, hearty soup. One that involved bacon just pushes it over the top. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much – the bacon makes the soup!! Perfect smokey, salty balance to the green peas. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Any recommendations for a substitute for the bacon if we can’t eat bacon?
Assuming you can’t eat Canadian bacon or ham, I would just skip it and add more salt. Another idea for smokiness without pork would be to add smoked paprika. Hope that helps!!
One more thing – turkey bacon would be great!
Try Turkey bacon if you can have that. If you are unable to use this skip it but add some cumin to add smokiness flavor to the soup.