Crock Pot Vegetarian Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup with Optional Ham Add-In

The weather here in the Seattle area has been so, so strange. Just over a week ago, a dense fog descended upon us, and didn’t lift until yesterday. Apparently, it’s called a “fog storm.” Really, it just made me feel like I was living inside a horror movie for seven days. Without the blood, gore, stupid dialogue, and tense jumpy moments, thank goodness.

Naturally, living in pea soup made me want to make pea soup. I think out of the box like that.

Crock Pot vegetarian split pea and cauliflower soup with optional ham add-in | Kitchen Treaty

This  vegetarian Crock Pot soup recipe is delicious of its own accord, but with the cumin and the garnish of smoked paprika, it’s still plenty reminiscent of the ham-hock-steeped split pea soup of my youth. Meat-eaters get a little ham bonus because we love ‘em.

Crock Pot vegetarian split pea and cauliflower soup with optional ham add-in | Kitchen Treaty

I really like the somewhat unusual addition of cauliflower. It doesn’t affect the overall taste of the soup, it just makes for some nice hearty bites here and there. I might add diced red potatoes next time – I went back and forth on that and ultimately decided against it. I was also tempted to add a smidgen of curry powder, which I’m certain would be a nice addition, but I left it out as I wanted to keep this version comforting and familiar.

Bonus: this soup is soooo unbelievably easy to make. The ever-awesome Crock Pot strikes again!

Print Recipe

Crock Pot Vegetarian Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup with Optional Ham Add-In

This vegetarian-at-its-roots split pea soup is comforting and familiar, with warm smoky notes thanks to the cumin and smoked paprika. Just add ham at the end for the meat-eaters.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Additional salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil and smoked paprika for garnish
  • Ham add-in
  • 1/4 cup diced ham per serving


  1. In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add to 4.5-quart or larger Crock Pot along with cauliflower, split peas, vegetable broth, cumin, sage, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until split peas are completely soft.
  3. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  4. If adding ham, remove about 1 1/2 cups per serving to a saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup diced ham. Heat together for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Top carnivorous servings with additional chopped ham if desired.

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6 Responses to “Crock Pot Vegetarian Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup with Optional Ham Add-In”

  1. a farmer in the dell posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:54 am

    a fog storm? that sounds SO depressing! Thank god for split pea soup, that’s all I have to say! I love the ingredients and the addition of cauliflower. Yum!

  2. a farmer in the dell posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:56 am

    a fog storm? that sounds SO depressing. Thank god for split pea soup. I love the addition of the cauliflower! yum

  3. Cheryl Rhodes posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Sounds good. Also makes an excuse to do something with cauliflower.

    The fog storm was up the coast too for the past week, the whole Vancouver area was socked in too. It was creepy enough that I would only drive in the daytime. And now we’re back to rain.

    • Kare posted on January 28, 2013 at 7:14 am

      I didn’t realize the fog storm extended so far north! So wild. I’m glad it’s gone; rain is better than that. Well, mostly. I’m just craving some sun, any sun, at this point!

  4. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I have family and friends living in Seattle and they were saying the same thing. I just came back from visiting and I love the weather you are having. Im in sunny southern california so we can switch? Ha. Your soup looks great and I like the cauliflower addition. I need some sort of chunk in my soup. :-)

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