Smoked paprika gives this slow cooker split pea soup its classic smoky flavor that traditionally comes from a ham bone. Packed with flavorful veggies, this vegan version is creamy, comforting, and incredibly easy to make. Just prep ingredients the night before, fill your slow cooker in the morning, and come home at dinnertime for a fragrant, delicious meal!

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 32-oz. container low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 16 oz. dry green split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine vegetable broth and 3 cups of water. Add the next seven ingredients (through red pepper flakes); mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or high 4 to 5 hours). Stir in vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper.

Comments (21)

(5 from 11 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Anyone know timing for cooking this in an Instant Pot?

Kerry Barnhart

I did 15 minutes high pressure with a 10 minute natural release. It came out great! You may want to sauté the carrots, onion and fennel first.


I followed all directions and cooked it in high for 5 1/2 hours. It was perfect. Tastes like a traditional split pea soup. Amazing.

Mary Rose Campbell

Yummy. I didn't have a leak so left it out.


Delish! The 2nd time I made this it was so thick I could cut it- but still yummy. Making it again now and realized I forgot to add the 3 cups of water - hahaha.


How long if cooking on the stove top? 2 hours?


Reallly enjoyed this soup. It was delicious,filling, and made a lot.

Kerrin Alletson

Very easy - just chop & drop in the crockpot. Decent flavour and my meat-eater ate it without complaint. Will be an easy go-to for the freezer.

Corey Wendlandt

Pea soup

Debbie M

I do not like fennel but my husband does so I used it. Neither of us could tell there was fennel in the soup however it did give a sweetness to it. Did not use the vinegar. Was impressed on how good it was without using a ham bone. Definitely a keeper.


I'm just curious... what is the red wine vinegar's purpose in this recipe? Also, would it be missing in flavour if I omit?


You can leave it out.


In other dishes I’ve used lemon or lime juice. Gives it a little tang.


I have folks that dislike fennel, so I am wondering if the fennel taste is noticeable in this? If so, can you make it without or is there a good substitute for the fennel?


You can totally leave it out or sub a veggie you like. Pea soup is very versatile

Lorrie Dykas

It was pretty good but just a little bland - I added a teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and it made a big difference. I cooked it for 9 hours on low then used an immersion blender to make a smooth, creamy soup. I'll definitely make this again but next time I'll probably use less of the red pepper flakes as it was a little spicy.


Perfect flavor profile. I think if you're cooking on high, it still might need more time to thicken (maybe depending on the slow-cooker. Mine definitely needed some more time, so I just put it on high for 5 and then low until it was done). But so tasty and can't wait to make it again as the weather gets even colder!


I would soak the peas as I do lentils for faster cooking. I just use stove top which also speeds it up. Seasoning is everything, usually to taste!! I like changing it up as I eat it during the week , adding different spices.


@jonnalee I assume you sauté the root veggies then spices before adding the peas and liquid. what is your stovetop cook time after adding the liquids?

Normie Gagerman

Thick and tasty the way I like it.


Sounds extra yummy!

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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