Is there anything more satisfying than a bowl of homemade soup? Cook up a pot of this Green split Pea Soup with ham bone easily in a slow cooker, and enjoy a hearty and comforting soup. It is the perfect way to use up leftover ham from Christmas or New Year’s. Crock pot soups are some of the easiest soups to make. Basically, everything gets dumped into the slow cooker and you let it do its thing for a few hours while you get on with your day.
Not only does the house smell great all day long, but getting dinner on the table requires very little effort at the end of the day.
Split Pea Soup Brings Money in the New Year
There is a New years tradition that dates back to the civil war that says that if you eat black eyed pea on New Year’s day it will bring prosperity and luck in the New Year to come. This is especially true when some coins are tucked into it, making it a “good luck money soup.”
My grandmother from Maine revised this tradition to say that if you eat homemade split pea and ham hock soup on New Year’s day, it will bring you prosperity in the form of money in the New Year.
I thought it would be a great idea to add this delicious New Year’s soup to my crock pot recipes collection in honor of my grandmother.
For as long as I can remember, for my family, January 1 of every year started with a different recipe of Green Split Pea Soup and a healthy grain bread. The money part of it hasn’t worked out for me yet, but I live in hope that my new recipe each year will the the winning one!
This Civil war recipe for split pea money soup is an adaptation on my Grandmother’s plain Jane green pea soup recipe which called for nothing more than ham and split peas.
Hopefully, this variation will do the trick to add to my prosperity and also help shed the extra pounds that I seem to have gathered since Thanksgiving!
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What are split peas?
Split peas are from the family of legumes. They are a type of field pea that is grown specifically for the dried bean market.
When split peas are hulled and then separated into two along the natural seam in the legume, they become split peas. This encourages faster cooking.
Split peas will keep in a airtight container for up to one year. They are high in protein in fiber and very low in fat. Split peas turn quite creamy when they are cooked making them an ideal candidate for soups.
This type of legume comes in both green and yellow colors. The green split peas are sweeter. The yellow split peas are more mild and have more starch, as well.
Both types will work in my pea and ham soup, but I am using green split peas today.
How to make split pea soup
This easy pea and ham soup is full of hearty and healthy ingredients. I like to gather them all before I start cooking to make sure I have everything on hand.
You’ll need these Ingredients:
- dried split peas
- an onion
- chicken broth
- beef broth
- olive oil
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- fresh thyme
- a bay leaf
- a ham hock with a bit of ham left on it
You will also need a large crockpot. I use a 6 quart variety. This recipe makes a lot of soup and you don’t want to overfill a small crock pot or the results won’t be as good.
Making the crock pot pea soup:
Chop the carrots finely. The soup is enhanced by their flavor, but the pieces need to be small, since all the other ingredients are small sized. (See my other tips for slow cooking here.)
Wash the split peas and drain them well. There are sometimes bits of grit in bags of split peas and this will make sure that just the best part makes it to the pot. There is no need to soak them, though.
Sauté onions and garlic in the oil and add these to a slow cooker. This takes a bit of extra time but gives a nice caramelized onion flavor to the soup.
Add the vegetables, split peas and ham hock along with the stock and water and season to taste. I normally wait until 30 minutes before serving to add fresh herbs but I want some to season now and I’ll add more later.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours then reduce and cook on low for 4 hours more.
A half hour before serving, remove the ham from the hock, discard the ham bone, and bay leaf and add more fresh thyme.
If you like a smooth consistency to a soup, you can use an immersion blender to give the soup a more thick and smooth texture if you wish, but it is not necessary – the chunky soup is also fine.
Tip: Make sure to check the water and consistency of the soup from time to time. You may need to add hot water or stock if the pea soup becomes too thick.
Making this a split pea “money” soup
For a special treat, add a coin to the pot just before serving time. Legend has it that whoever gets the coin will have especially good luck this year!
My grandmother was a bit too “frugal” to add coins to her soup recipe, but since the money part hasn’t worked for me yet, there is no harm in going the extra mile and adding a dime to the pot so that one person gets an unexpected surprise.
This “money soup” superstition dates back to the days when Appalachian people used to cook a dime in their cabbage for the New Year as a good luck token for the unsuspecting person who found it!
What to serve with split pea soup
Any kind of crusty bread works well with the soup and helps to get every last drop of deliciousness from this green pea soup. Some recipe ideas are:
Nutritional information for this green split pea soup
Even though this soup is rich and creamy, it is also very light in calories and saturated fat. Each bowl has just 117 calories and a whopping 10 grams of protein.
The soup is gluten free, dairy free, Paleo and Whole30 compliant, too!
I hope this split pea soup with ham bone brings you prosperity of all kinds in the coming year. Do you have other traditional food recipes to start your New Year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Admin note: This slow cooker split pea soup with ham hock first appeared on the blog in January of 2013. I have updated the post to add new photos, a printable recipe card and a video for you to enjoy.
Pin this split pea soup for later
Would you like a reminder of this ham and green pea soup? Just pin this image to one of your crock pot boards on Pinterest.
- 24 oz dried split peas
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups fat-free chicken stock
- 4 cups fat-free beef stock
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 large carrots - finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- dash of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ham hock bone, with a bit of ham on it
- Wash split peas and drain them.
- In a pot, saute onions and garlic in about 2 tsp of oil. Add these to a slow cooker.
- Add peas, carrots, ham hock and your chicken and beef stock and water.
- Stir in half of the fresh thyme and the salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook on high for 3 hours.
- Reduce and cook on low for 4 hours more.
- 1/2 hour before serving, remove the ham bone and bay leaf and blend with an immersion blender if desired.
- Add the rest of the thyme.
- Season to taste and cook on low for another 15 minutes.
Make sure to check the water and consistency. You may need to add hot water if it becomes too thick.
For extra good luck for one person, add a dime to the soup just before serving it. Whoever is lucky enough to get the bowl with the money will have extra good luck this year!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 815mg Carbohydrates: 14g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 3g Protein: 10g
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