Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Chicken Sausage and Carrots (Gluten-Free)

It might not win any beauty contests, but Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Chicken Sausage and Carrots is still a beautiful thing to come home to!

I've had a life-long attraction to split pea soup, even though I don't remember my mother ever making it when I was a kid.  Not only do I love the creamy flavor of the split peas, but this type of soup is about as budget-friendly as you can get, and this Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Chicken Sausage and Carrots is a healthy dinner that can cook all day while you're at work.  And even though some people don't like the looks of this type of soup, coming home to soup in the slow cooker on a cold winter night is definitely a beautiful thing.  (Check out the Slow Cooker Photo Index Page for more slow cooker soup ideas!)

I made this soup with Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage, one of my favorite sausage varieties, but any type of chicken or turkey sausage will work, or use leftover ham if you prefer.  I used carrots for a pop of color and flavor, but if you replace the carrots with red bell pepper you can make a lower-carb version of this soup that's equally delicious.  If you're starting this in the morning to cook all day while you're at work you can do the browning of the sausage and onions the night before and keep them in the fridge overnight.  Then throw everything in the slow cooker the next morning and turn it on!

(Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Chicken Sausage and Carrots was updated with better photos, February 2015.)

Cut the sausage into fourths lengthwise and then into bite sized pieces and brown the sausage in a non-stick pan.  (I used my favorite Green Pan which didn't need oil, but you might need a little olive oil with a different pan.)  Put the browned sausage in the slow cooker (I used my Ninja Cooker, but a smaller slow cooker would have been fine.)  Then brown the onions and add them to the slow cooker.

Add two cups green split peas, a generous amount of chopped carrots, chicken stock, water, and a packet of Goya Ham Flavored Concentrate (if using) and let the soup cook all day on low, or cook 4-5 hours on high.  When split peas have disintegrated, check the consistency and add a little water to the soup if desired.  Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup
And just for fun, here's the original photo of this soup from 2008; it was just as delicious even if this  photo is a little lacking in imagination!

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Chicken Sausage and Carrots
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

I used the 6 Quart Ninja Cooker for this soup, but any 4-5 quart slow cooker would work. 

2 cups dried green split peas (do not need soaking)
4 links Aidells Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage (or use other types of sausage)
1 onion, chopped into small pieces (about 1 cup chopped onion)
2-3 carrots, chopped into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots)
4 cups chicken stock (I use homemade chicken stock, but canned broth or chicken stock from a carton is fine)
2 cups water
1 packet Goya Ham Flavored Concentrate (optional, but it does add a lot of flavor)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut sausage lengthwise into fourths, then slice the strips into pieces about 1/2 inch square. Brown the sausage in a non-stick pan, stirring occasionally, until sausage pieces are well-browned on all sides, about ten minutes. (I didn't need to add any oil with the Aidell's sausage and my Green Pan. If you use a different brand of sausage and/or a different pan, you might need a bit of olive oil.)

Put browned sausage into crockpot, then brown the chopped onions in the fat left in the pan from the sausage, about five minutes. (I drained some of the fat before I added the onions to the pan.)

Add browned onions to crockpot, then add split peas, chopped carrots, chicken stock, water, and ham flavor concentrate (if using.) Cover crockpot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. If I'm home I usually stir once or twice, but it's not essential.

When all the split peas are disintegrated into the soup, check the consistency to see if you want to add more water. (I added about 2/3 cup more water.) Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve hot. This soup will keep at least a week in the refrigerator, and it also freezes well.

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South Beach/Low-Carb Suggestions:
Since this soup includes carrots, it would be a phase two option for the South Beach Diet. Using chicken or turkey sausage also helps keep the soup South Beach Diet friendly.  For a lower-carb version of split pea soup, replace the carrots with red bell pepper.  That change would make the soup suitable for South Beach Phase One if you use portion control.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty and Budget-Friendly Crockpot Soups:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Bacon ~ The Lemon Bowl

Slow Cooker Bean Soup with Ham, Spinach, and Thyme ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Taco Soup ~ Tidy Mom

Crockpot (or stovetop) Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Tangy Black Bean Soup ~ A Year of Slow Cooking

Spicy Slow Cooker Soup with Ground Turkey, Pinto Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Green Chiles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

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More to Chew On:


  1. In place of the ham concentrate, I'll use a few plops of smoky barbecue sauce. Gives the same flavor, and a bit of thickness, for those of us who are not ham people. Thanks for the encouragement to get out my slow cooker!

  2. What a coincidence--I made split pea soup yesterday, in my pressure cooker, and took it to a potluck lunch where it disappeared in a matter of minutes. It really is an inexpensive dish, and using energy saving appliances like the crockpot of pressure cooker make it even more frugal. I'm glad to hear that you're adding a special section just for these recipes!

  3. Looks delicious. I make ham stock from holiday ham bones and then use that, or chicken stock. I'll have to add split peas to my grocery list.

  4. Mmm, a yummy recipe and so cozy for a cold, rainy day. You could also gild the daisy (split peas really don't qualify as lilies, so what?) with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika...

    Tamara at BuzzFood

  5. Lydia, great idea to add some extra flavor with barbecue for those who don't eat ham.

    SusanV, I'm thinking this will be one of the first things I'll try in my pressure cooker. I Love split pea soup of every type!

    Susy, I like to make ham stock too. Only problem, I don't buy ham that often.

    Tamara, that sounds good.

  6. No problem Kalyn, I love split pea soup! Now I really want to get back with my slow cooker!

  7. I have been in a soup mood lately!! I need to get out my slow cooker. I always forget about it!

  8. This looks really great! I like chicken sausage in soups/stews/sauces.

    I love your new header, also!

  9. Tanna, me too! I know there are some (misguided) people who don't like it though.

    Maria, I'm really going to try using mine more this winter.

    Maris, it's my very talented brother Rand who makes the headers. He's a great designer.

  10. I love split soup so you get no argument from me here.

    It's truly a meal.

  11. This is perfect timing, I have never had split pea soup, and I've been wanting to try it.

  12. kalyn..the pressure cooker(thank's for the name, I didn't know what the name was in english.) is one of those must-have.
    I use it very very often..
    thank's for the recipe..I love of all kinds of legumes!
    thanks for passing by
    have a nice week, and see you soon

  13. Wow. this soup looks yummy. Thanks for sharing

  14. Very beautiful soup, Kalyn. I'm not overly fond of split peas, but the rest of your ingredients are calling to me!

  15. Hey Kalyn,

    I just bought everything to make this sometime next week. I was surprised to find the Goya ham flavored concentrate at my Super Walmart. I can't wait to make it.

  16. This recipe is delicious! I made it last week with kielbasa rather than chicken sausage, which I couldn't find.
    My husband and 10 year old daughter liked it. The 3 year old wasn't completely sold, but that's ok. She helped dump ingredients in the crockpot and stir.
    It was so yummy...just like grandma's!

  17. Rhonda, so glad you liked it. I'm not surprised this would be a hard sell with a 3 year old! Good to know that kielbasa would work too.

  18. I loved this, Kalyn! I used half brown lentils and half split peas, I really enjoyed the combination. Thanks for another great, easy recipe.

  19. Could you add barley to this? If yes, with the other ingredients or when their is a hour left to cook?

  20. Since I haven't tried it I can't tell you exactly when to add the barley. I don't think it would be done in an hour, and personally I'd probably add it about half way through the cooking time, but that's only a guess. I googled a few recipes and they all seem to add it right at the beginning.


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