This split pea soup is made in the crockpot, making it a hearty healthy weeknight meal!

I don’t like to sugar coat anything that doesn’t resemble a cinnamon-sugar dunked soft pretzel.

So I’m not going to sit here and ask you to stare at this soup and revel in it’s beauty.  I won’t recommend that you take it home with you, put the pot in your child’s old bassinet, and whisper sweet nothings into it’s ear.  There will be none of those shenanigans.  Okay?

(I know.  I’m being uncharacteristically rational today. Not for long. Just wait.)

In fact, let’s call a spade a spade.  It’s ugly.  It is an ugly soup.  Please.  Take a moment of silence and accept that.


But now.  Let me ask you this.

Have you ever encountered a split pea soup so good that you woke up in the middle of the night and could have sworn that you heard it calling you to the fridge, practically begging you to pick up a spoon and eat it out of the Rubbermaid container?

Yeah. I late night-snacked on split pea soup.  Weird.

I think the irrational nature of my actions might be due to the fact that I had to perform my first female pelvic exam yesterday.  Or it might just be that the soup was so good the first time around that it resonated deep within my soul and shook everything up.  Who knows.


Now, I know I said that this is adapted from Michael Symon’s recipe. But he would actually be quite mad if he could see the things that I’ve done to it.  I left out the bacon.  And the spareribs.  And the ham hock.  I also switched in rosemary for thyme.  And threw it in the slow cooker.  In fact…if he saw this recipe, he would likely have no idea that it stemmed from his at all in any way shape or form.  Sorry.  I couldn’t help myself. 

Split Pea Soup
This hearty split pea soup is made in the slow cooker! Making it an easy good-for-you weeknight meal.
Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 links spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb split peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Remove the sausage from it’s casings and saute in the oil, breaking the sausage into crumbles using a spatula as you go along. When it is cooked through and browned, place it into your crockpot, leaving as much oil behind as possible.
  2. Put the carrots and the onion into the same pan. Add the tbsp of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour into the crockpot.
  3. Place the split peas, bay leaf, rosemary, cayenne, and black pepper into the crock pot as well. Pour in 6 cups water. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. If not thick enough, stir in the cornmeal and cook on high for 20 minutes. Pour into bowls and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

This is my submission to Symon Sundays, which is hosted over at Veggie By Season, and to Souper Sundays, which is hosted over at Kahakai Kitchen, and to Let’s Do Brunch, which is hosted at My Sweet and Savory.

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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113 Responses to Split Pea Soup

  1. girlichef says:

    I don’t know…I think it’s pretty in its own way. That certain simple charm, ya know. Sounds delish, too!

  2. Lori says:

    Before I read on, my first thought was – that’s actually a pretty pea soup. Ha! Most are pale green and blah. This one has bits of color and sounds wonderful!

  3. Joanne- love your spunky candidness! When it comes to food, especially homely comfort food like these, taste matterrs more than looks!

  4. Simply Life says:

    Looks like a great late-night snack to me!

  5. Cara says:

    Agreed. An ugly food but a good one. Good call on the chicken sausage. My mom actually uses short ribs in hers and it’s awesome (and one of just a few so awesome ideas she’s had on her own that I actually had to steal.)

  6. Beauty is only skin deep. The taste on the tongue is the test. You may quote me.


  7. Wow that soup looks so pretty, I can’t stop staring at it:) Beautiful color, specks of red, chunky … I am satisfied just looking at it:)

    I have made split pea soup without any meat and i added little bit of tomato paste. Its a great soup, I totally agree with you.

  8. Nina | Salt says:

    Ha! Great honest and true. The soup looks delicious and love your mutli-colored mat!

  9. The sausage is interesting in this. I’ve never been a big split pea fan. I make a big pot each year, eat a bowl and then give the rest to my dad who LOVES it. I think I’ll do that again! Thanks!

  10. Lea Ann says:

    I do like the addition of Chicken Italian Sausage in this. I’ve always used ham hocks and like your healthier version.

  11. Sarah Caron says:

    I adore split pea soup and just yesterday told a friend that I want to make some…this one looks delish. And as someone who appreciates the fabulous flavor of a good split pea soup, I think it’s lovely. (And hey! I have that placemat!)

  12. Julie says:

    My hubby loves split pea soup, I just can’t get past the texture, and the pea-greenness of it all. Yours does sound yummy….I’d probably be fine if I just ate it blindfolded.

  13. I am always looking for new spins on split pea soup! The cornmeal is an interesting idea for thickening… I’ll have to try that!

  14. YUM. Split pea soup on a cold winter day is some kinda of nirvana in my opinion. Also, pelvic exams YAY! As a budding ob/gyn, I hope you had a not-terrible experience. (And yeah, those Atlanta housewives? A little cray-cray.)

  15. I have some split pea soup in the freezer waiting for it’s moment to shine. Ii is the only soup I have fond memories of from childhood.

  16. You sure do make ugly look pretty. Keep the sausage and stop suggesting tofu… It’s always a mistake

  17. Shannon says:

    I’d have to say, in terms of split pea soup, yours is one of the most attractive ones I’ve seen… 🙂

  18. Amy says:

    Ya. Ugly. But you know what? I’d rather hang out with the entertaining guy, than the cute guy – Beauty fades, funny is forever.

    Whenever I have to go to the OG/GYN, I always feel like she should buy me a drink afterward. I mean, it’s the least she can do after feeling me up. Aaaawkward.

    Now I want some ugly split pea soup.

  19. Candace says:

    Your “ugly” soup is a thing of beauty! I think I heard it calling my name too!

  20. Dawn says:

    This happens to me a lot. The photo of it just doesn’t do it justice. I just wish the reader could TASTE it. I believe you on this split pea soup with Italian chicken sausage. I believe it would wake me up in the middle of the night too. Mmmm……..

  21. Kim says:

    Joanne-I love what you’ve done with Symon’s split pea soup. I haven’t got around to making mine yet and was seriously thinking about skipping it because I don’t have the 3 types of meat called for in the recipe. I’m definitely inspired!

  22. brandi says:

    I love split pea soup, mostly for it’s unsightly appearance. In fact, I love it even more when it’s thick and almost like gravy. Yum.

  23. aipi says:

    Very inviting and comforting dish for wintery evening dinner..

    US Masala

  24. Maya says:

    It’s definitely hard to make mush look appealing. But I love your first picture.

    You win. Not sure what exactly, but you win.

  25. janet says:

    Hey Joanne, You make me want to eat split pea soup! I have yet to find a recipe that makes me swoon, but then again I haven’t ever made it with cornmeal (??) nor tempeh (sounds like a great idea!).

  26. Katerina says:

    I am sure Symon would be proud of you taking his recipe and transform it to something completely different but equally beautiful

  27. Big Dude says:

    I believe I’ve only had split pea soup the one time our son made it for us – I guess the name never inspired me. I loved it and have had it on my list since then, but haven’t gotten around to it. Since I know how good it is, I think it looks good as well.

  28. Faith says:

    Sometimes fantastic food just doesn’t look as good as it tastes…but the important thing is it tastes fantastic, which I can tell this does! Split pea is actually one of my favorites from way back and your version looks delish, Joanne!

  29. Mo Diva says:

    First pelvic exam! yiiikes! hope it went well for both parties. lol.
    ugly and all pea soup is my fav. I love your additions and substitutions. Michael Symon might be an iron chef… but he clearly can learn a thing or two from you diva.
    looks great! xoxox

  30. A tasty split pea soup is a beautiful thing. You present this in a very guilt-free way. I’ve so been thinking of you, while watching the snow storms in your part of the country. Such is the life in California, though rain is finally on it’s way. Come West for some BBQ. 😉

  31. Eden says:

    No bacon?! As a very bad jew, I’m disappointed, but I love you so I
    ll move on….
    The best tasting food is always ugly. Sloppy joes, hummus, even chocolate goods can often resemble…you know what.
    I eat with my stomach first!

  32. I agree it’s an ugly soup–but the deliciousness still manages to shine through its ugly exterior. This one has a heart of gold! =)

  33. Pam says:

    Maybe it’s the placemat or your photographing skills but I personally think this one’s a beauty. I love split pea soup and this recipe sounds fantastic.

  34. I can’t believe you just discussed a pelvic exam and split pea soup in the same post. Somehow, I’ve lost my appetite 🙂

  35. elra says:

    Yummy! It’s getting cold again here, so this soup is perfect.

  36. gotnomilk says:

    I never heard of the addition of cornmeal, but I just love the idea. Looks so good.

  37. I just wrote a long comment and it got deleted. I am sad.
    Basically –> I dont see the correlation between first pelvic exam and midnight pea soup cravings, but ill take it!
    –> And soup not pretty. But soup taste pretty.

  38. That Girl says:

    I’m usually a ham, ham bone, or salt pork girl when it comes to split pea soup. But I love love love the idea of sausage!

  39. Yay for a pea soup without ham in it! The non-pork-eater-but-still-meat-eater is fascinated by the use of chicken sausage! Yum!

  40. polwig says:

    Anything with peas, beans and veggies is a late snack for me. This looks so good and honestly I do not have a good split pea soup recipe. I love that this one has chicken sausage not bacon and cornmeal… I am so exited to make it… It is on our menu sometime this week.

  41. Mary says:

    It’s awfully tasty for an ugly soup and someone has to love it. I’ll volunteer. Have a great day, Joanne. Blessings…Mary

  42. Victoria says:

    Sometimes the ugliest, most difficult to photograph foods are really the most delicious!! Your split pea soup with the chicken sausage sounds great, and is definitely lighter than you estranged husband’s version. I would definitely pick yours over his, because although bacon is awesome, sometimes we need to lighten in up. I’ve been VERY bad lately, as you know, haha.

  43. Swathi says:

    This split pea soup sounds delicious, I love pea soup as they are integral part of Indian cooking.

  44. This split pea looks great. I would have made the same changes.

  45. Marjie says:

    My mother used to make pea soup; you’re right, it’s ugly. My dearly beloved won’t touch it, so I haven’t had it in well over 30 years, but it is a wonderful winter meal. Have you tried using a ham bone for the meat base? Great flavor; I like bits of ham instead of the sausage. Let’s be real; I couldn’t wait 8 to 10 hours for my sausage.

  46. Megan says:

    Honestly, you managed to make pea soup look beautiful and photogenic. Wow. I absolutely love pea soup but haven’t made it myself because I figured I’d have to cook a ham and save the bones for the soup like my mom does. The chicken sausage saves that hassle, huh?

  47. Kristen says:

    You know, all I could think of when I was looking at your photos was, “I have that placemat.” I had to force myself to go back and look at the soup, which, for split pea soup, looks really good. Maybe it’s because I am particularly partial to split pea soup. Or maybe it’s the placemat :-).

  48. jenna laughs says:

    I love the addition of Italian sausage! It’s 19 degrees in Delaware right now, so this soup is looking good to me…

  49. Marcia says:

    For vegetarian readers, simply the best split pea soup recipe (and I will be making it this weekend, again) is:

    Simply substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth, or use water and a veggie bouillon cube (which is what I do).

    A big fat bowl of vegan deliciousness.

  50. I am making split pea soup tonight!! With bacon!! I know it’s ugly, but it’s so good. Great things can come in ugly packages. Look at the Rolling Stones- great music, ugly… packages? Ew, gross thought!!

  51. tigerfish says:

    But it is rustic and beautiful…I am very rational right now. ;p

    I don’t mind late-night snacking on this soup but I do mind late-night cooking of the soup.

  52. La Liz says:

    I come here, fully expecting to read about female pelvic exams and a delicious split pea soup. I don’t find that pairing weird at all. Split Pea is a favorite soup; really satisfying and healthful. I think you soup is photogenic is beautiful!

  53. Great minds! I changed his up too, and also used the slow cooker. Or am using I should say. It is bubbling away as we speak!
    Looks very pretty to me. So glad you loved it so!
    Split pea soup is quite (French) Canadian, but not something I have made before (I don’t think).

  54. You’re right. Split pea soup will never win any beauty contests but I LOVE it! This sounds like a great recipe.

  55. Shanon says:

    i think that soup looks beautiful!

  56. RamblingTart says:

    It may not be pretty but it looks DELICIOUS!! Absolute comfort in a dish. 🙂 I’ve never had chicken sausage in split pea soup before, but it sounds fantastic. 🙂

  57. ASHLEA says:

    Never done anything with split peas, but this recipe looks great and perfect for all this cold weather!

  58. I adore split pea soup but you are right, it is not the prettiest although I do love the color of yours! I can’t imagine it without a hamhock and thyme but hey, can’t hurt to try something new. Wasn’t expecting the pelvic exam reference – lol! Hope it went well:)

  59. I will tell you just how much I love that soup and think it is just gorgeous, enough to ask you to link it to Let’s Do Brunch. Grinning at ya.

  60. I love it…I think it’s beautiful and the changes you made…much healthier! I like to keep soups like this around at all times as I just grab a bowl when I get that grumble!

  61. daphne says:

    But i love this soup too.. it’s not that ugly!! LOL but i like the idea of tempeh or tofu!

  62. Gosh, does that look yummy. I mean, really, it does. That’s just what split pea soup looks like and it looks perfect to me! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad I found your blog and look forward to exploring your recipes! – Georgia

  63. teresa says:

    lol, and yet, i can’t take my eyes off it. it sounds SO good, i’ll most likely be making this in the very near future.

  64. You are so funny…only oreos call to me at night, so I am going to have to try out this soup. Personally I have never seen a pretty split pea soup anyway 🙂

  65. if that’s ugly…what do i call my hideous grilled birds? heheheh

  66. Oh Joanne,I was looking for a good spilt pea soup recipe for so long.And because I also have a similar table mat..I m gonna try this on weekend itself.Looks effing awesome 🙂 I dun knw what makes u feel that its ugly!

  67. Tasha says:

    As someone who doesn’t care for recipes with hamhocks, bacon or spareribs BUT could never become a vegetarian ever as long as chicken sausage exists, I think your adaption is genuis!

  68. It has been ages since I have had a split-pea soup but this one is calling me! I like that it looks so simple to prepare and is so hearty and perfect for this weather.

  69. Nicole, RD says:

    I tried commenting from my phone and it didn’t work. This looks amazing, Joanne! I am going to make it next week! My dad makes THE best split pea, so we shall see 😉

  70. Kalyn says:

    I am just silly enough to think the soup looks beautiful!

  71. It may not be the prettiest, but it does look delicious! I love the chicken sausage instead of ham or pork. I am adding this one to my list!

  72. I wouldn’t say it’s ugly- beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Split pea is one of my favorites, and this hungry girl thinks it’s pretty spiffy. 🙂

  73. Claire says:

    This does look really good! I’ve never had split pea soup, don’t know if I’d really like it. Are split peas more like lentils or English peas (not a fan of the English version!)? LOVE the placemat!!!! I have eyed those several times but never got them.

  74. Eliana says:

    Girl, who cares what it looks like!!! It just needs to taste good and feel good in my belly and from the looks of it, this soup will do just that.

  75. Monet says:

    Ugly? Perhaps. Delicious? ABSOLUTELY. I adore split pea soup, and seeing these pictures are making me want to make a bowl right now. At midnight. Thank you for sharing your tasty soup with me. I hope you are having a happy and warm Wednesday night.

  76. Maria says:

    Delicious soup Joanne! I’m still looking forward to the soup weather here in Sydney..

  77. Get outta here – they say beauty is in the eye of the holder, but I think that soup looks absolutely beautiful. I’ve gotta say, you see a lot of pretty uninteresting looking soups out there in cyberspace, but this one looks stunning. I would get up in the middle of the night for this – no question, and it just so happens that split pea is my absolute favourite soup so I am definitely trying this version. Thanks for sharing it.
    Sue 🙂

  78. Ugly? Are you kidding? I would probably leave out the bacon, ham and spareribs if I wanted to try a split pea soup.

  79. grace says:

    what this soup lacks in looks it more than makes up for in flavor. i like my peas split. 🙂

  80. Debbie says:

    I don’t think that soup is ugly at all! In fact I think it looks pretty good. I’m a big fan of split pea soup and I love the fact that you can make this in a slow cooker. Great recipe!

  81. Natalie says:

    i have that placemat! and I bought split peas last week because I have split pea soup on the brain, totally making this weekend!

    great minds think alike, huh?

  82. Raina says:

    I think you made this soup look great. If I was taking the pics, it would probably look like It sounds wonderful. I like your version much better. My aunt used to make hers with hamhocks and I just could not eat it. I don’t even want to know what those are.

  83. May not be appealing but split pea soup is a delicious soup and good for us especially with the chicken sausage instead of bacon. The placemat is colorful and appealing 🙂

  84. You know what… I’ve never had split pea soup. I think part of it has to do that the look of it is never appealing and, secondly, it always contains meat. But, I have to say, yours actually looks really good and something that I could enjoy (sans meat… or with fake meat product).

  85. marla says:

    I can find lots of beauty in the split pea soup. Great adaptations, I am sure Michael would be proud 🙂 xo

  86. Ha ha , actually i dont agree it doesnt look so good , ok im being rational here!
    I am sure i am atleast!
    And i believe u, i have been there , ok ok , almost , i do snack (Ok and i havent in a longgg time) healthy in the middle of the night and its the blogging that keeps me awake , so u know exactly what kinda snacks would be there!
    Bdw , i loveee green peas, and i sure would love this at midnight or mid afternoon!

  87. great soup love the cayenne pepper in it 🙂

  88. Ada says:

    “I won’t recommend that you take it home with you, put the pot in your child’s old bassinet, and whisper sweet nothings into it’s ear”
    Hahaha!!! You are too funny.

    That’s so awesome that you performed your first pelvic exam yesterday. In the ER I always end up chaperoning when male doctors are performing them and it’s so interesting to see all the anatomy. Once one of the docs ended up discovering a woman was pregnant with twins, it was crazy!

    Hope you are having a good week! I look forward to making that split pea soup, it looks perfect for this frigid weather:)

  89. Oh man. Sorry dude. Can’t stand split pea soup. Then again, maybe I’ve been following the recipes too closely 🙂

  90. Good for you, Joanne! I cannot imagine split pea soup without ham hocks, but I hate ham hocks and hate split pea soup This one I might actually get up in the middle of the night for, too. I almost didn’t read the post as I am so behind with my readings. That is how much I hate split pea soup, but then I knew I would be missing something bright in your words as you are a compelling spinner of stories and a pro at cyber quip. I love reading you. And, good thing. This looks like a nouveau version of Split Pea Soup. Something in your title should let us know!

  91. Catherine says:

    I absolutely adore split pea soup…always have. This looks so creamy and delicious. Beautiful photos Joanne!

  92. Megan says:

    I just had split pea soup this week (a curried vegan version with potatoes). It was my first experience and I absolutely loved it! This looks even better with the addition of spicy italian chicken sausage. So glad I have a recipe for this soup now!

  93. Nadji says:

    J’adore cette soupe.
    Elle semble délicieuse.
    See soon.

  94. Karen says:

    We’ve been having a lot of soup this winter, but I haven’t made this yet. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  95. A soup that talks to you during the night? That is special! 😉

  96. Peabody says:

    Pea Soup is an ugly soup, but it’s one of my favorite comforts of all time!

  97. Peggy says:

    I don’t think this soup is ugly at all! In fact, I’ve never had the inclination to eat Split Pea Soup… until now. Because my mouth is watering.

  98. Reeni says:

    This is much prettier than my Mom’s! I don’t like hers one bit. But this I would like. I mean leave it to Micheal Symon to put Italian sausage in his split pea soup – he did it just to entice me! And it worked.

  99. I like the spicy Italian chicken sausage in this soup, it sounds super delicious!

  100. Chris says:

    Wait….there was supposed to be hocks and spare ribs in this?

    Ohhhh. I am so mad at you. I don’t blame Michael for making you sleep on the couch for this one :-0 😉

  101. Miriam says:

    Split Pea Soup is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods (I used to have it a lot as a child). No, it’s not pretty (I have accepted that), but man it IS delicious! So to me, yours is beautiful – since taste is all that matters to me in food. :). [email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  102. theUngourmet says:

    You are too funny! I’m loving the bassinet visual. Great soup! I like the fact that you switched out the bacon and ham for the Italian chicken sausage. I’ve been using this sausage quite a bit lately.

    Happy Friday!

  103. sophia says:

    Well hellooooo? It’s got sausage in it! No wonder it’s good!

    I think the best split pea soup I had was at CPK…I know. Haha. But seriously, I cannot forget the taste.

  104. Maria says:

    Too funny! I made split pea soup last Friday and it was delicious but I didn’t bother posting it because of the horrible way it looked! Yours looks infinitely better, I must admit. Great soup!

  105. sweetlife says:

    aren’t we food lovers? every food is beautful to me, I love your soup..(and your placemat)


  106. Shannon says:

    i’ve been meaning to give this a try!! did you save me a bowl?

  107. Yep, split pea soup will never win a beauty contest but it sure is good. Your version looks delicious–whether Michael would recognize it or not. 😉

  108. Kerstin says:

    I’d snack on this anytime, all the time! I love split pea soup – so tasty and healthy.

  109. I’m glad to see that you adapted this soup. The original recipe with the three pork products were too intimidating for me. This looks like a much more approachable recipe.

  110. Marisa says:

    “I left out the bacon. And the spareribs. And the ham hock.” Do not compute. Oh wait, I see you added chicken sausage. ‘Atta girl. 🙂

  111. This isn’t an ugly soup at all!! And your modifications are wonderful for vegetarians like me. 🙂

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