Very little prep, just layer in crock pot/slow cooker, leave it for the day and a filling, delicious soup will be ready for dinner. This recipe is a very versatile base split pea soup. For a Vegan option, omit the meat. I have made this recipe using ham, ham hock, and bacon. I have used veggie broth, chicken broth and water... each tasting different but yummy! I have reduced the salt but have not adjusted the recipe as written. This soup is even better the next day, it freezes well. This tends to be a thicker soup (especially once it has cooled) so adjust liquid after cooking to desired thickness.