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Split Pea Soup - what did I do wrong??

I made split pea soup this weekend in my slow cooker - a combo of recipes from my slow cooking Lightly cookbook and when it cooled it turned into this big semi-solid BLOB of green! I thought fine, it's like gravy - more solid when cool. but it didn't re-liquify when I microwaved it. I added about 1/2 cup water and stirred, and then it was liquid enough to eat, but still REALLY thick. This is only my second attempt at making split pea soup, and last time it did the same thing. the ingredients were:
1 (16 oz) pckg split peas
1/2 ham slice cubed small
3 carrots sliced
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 potatoes cubed fine
chicken broth to cover - about 3 cans
cooked about 7 hours, then I pureed a bit of it w/ my stick blender (love that gadget!)

why is it sooo thick? my hubby wouldn't even eat it! :(


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  1. Probably the potatoes, I've never heard of potatoes in split pea soup. I also add some milk after pureeing to get it to the right consistancy. I know there are tricks to adapting recipes to crock pots, can't remember more or less liquid?

    1. Over heat, try thinning it out with a 50% water & 50% broth solution. Dilute it slowly until you get to the consistency that you want.

      1. No potatoes and it is supposed to be thick but you could add stock or water to get it to a thickness you both find acceptable

        1. I add potato to my split pea soup occasionally, and it works fine. One might have been enough, though. But I think the problem is that you didn't have nearly enough liquid. You don't want it just to cover. You need several inches of liquid above the peas. As they're softening, they absorb the liquid, so you didn't have any left over to make it soupy. Next time try twice as much liquid, or even more. To have enough room for it, you'll need at least a 6 qt slow cooker if you're using a 16 oz bag of peas.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AmyH

            Agreed. I would expect a 16 oz bag of peas to make enough soup for an army. You needed WAY more liquid.

            1. re: danna

              For a pound of peas, you'd need about 4 or 5 QUARTS of liquid.

            2. re: AmyH

              I add a potato too. No problem. The only variable that I can see is the amount of water, and that would come from whatever liquids you add and the cooked veggies. Is the taste OK? If so, try adding water or broth until it becomes the consistency you want. Did you remove the fat from the ham?

            3. Yup - as others have said, you didn't have near enough liquid, especially with potatoes as well as the split peas.

              That said, my split pea soup usually does solidify when refrigerated, and leftovers have to be heated with a generous amount of additional water or stock in order not to scorch.

              1. I find that after cooling (or freezing) it is always much thicker so i do usually thin it with water when I reaheat it. So don't be too alarmed if you have to do that a bit, however I would add more liquid to begin with as well.


                2 Replies
                1. re: daily_unadventures

                  A word of advice: thin out the soup AFTER it's been heated through; it does become less thick the warmer it gets. If you thin it before heating, you may wind up with a too-thin soup.

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    If you're heating it in the microwave this works, but stovetop you risk scorching the soup before it lbecomes liquid again. I usually start out with a little additional water, warm it a bit, mix it together, thin it a little more, and so on until it's both heated through and thin enough. It's kind of a finicky process, but I'm used to it.

                2. WOW. thanks so much folks! I was going to give up as a split pea soup failure - lol.

                  1. OK, you've seen the replies and recognize that potato or no, your recipe has FAR too little liquid. Further it seems very bland - no pepper, bay leaf, cloves, celery, savory etc...

                    This seems pretty typical of crock pot recipes, but if you develop a good recipe that is both healthful (sticking with a small amount of ham or canadian bacon is a good tactic) and delicious you could probably adapt your version to the crockpot.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Kater

                      LOL - I did add some spices... pepper, and something else I can't remember at the moment. Oh, and a couple cloves of garlic. I thought the flavor was very good, next time I will use LOTS more liquid. :) yes. Healthful - that was part of the point. we started weight watchers this week, and I thought having some veggie-type soup around would be good. Thanks!

                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        You're so right, I find that making vats of low fat soups is a huge help when I'm trying to drop weight. In the summer, gazpacho and cold cucumber (with broth and lowfat buttermilk) are my standbys. In the winter I often make a good old vegetable soup using whatever is best at the market but a real favorite is a tomato/fennel soup that I found on epicurious a few years ago. You can get away with using even less than 2tbs of oil for the saute, though it's not too bad even with that amount of olive oil. It's good with the gremolata but I don't always make it and find it's nice without. Also if you have any good saffron, it's great in this soup!


                        1. re: jujuthomas

                          Do peas count as vegetables on WW? Aren't they starches or at least too starchy to be a free points food? I've always viewed peas as more of a starch with chlorophyl than as a green vegetable.

                          1. re: laylag

                            You're right, laylag. Pea soup is not a "free" food on Weight Watchers. Peas are carbs.

                            Vegetarian cabbage soup is another great soup option.

                      2. Soak your peas over night before you put it in the slow cooker

                        1. I love soups made with beans or legumes and have had the same thing happen at times and its usually when I get carried away with boat moater or sometimes I mash then with a hand potato masher. Using those two tools really brings out the starch. Just have learned to add more liquid and not to mash if there's anything else in there that I want to be recognizable.