Instant Pot Split Pea Soup (Ham Optional)

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Split Pea Soup is a classic for good reason! While it may look a bit frumpy, and it wouldn’t be out of place in a hospital cafeteria, it’s also super hearty and delicious. Plus, it’s a cinch to make, especially with the help of a trusty Instant Pot. So if you’re craving a warm and super comfy bowl of goodness, Look no further. Let’s make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup (with or without ham)!

A bowl of split pea soup with a blue napkin.

Ingredients you will need:

  • Oil, butter, or bacon fat: To sauté the veggies.
  • Onion: The foundation of so many great soups.
  • Celery: For texture and depth of flavor.
  • Carrots: For sweetness and texture.
  • Garlic: For even more depth of flavor.
  • Split peas: I use green, but you can also use yellow if you prefer.
  • Bay leaves: For that ‘je ne sais quoi.
  • Fresh thyme: Optional, but really nice.
  • Stock: Vegetable, chicken, or just plain water!
  • Salt & pepper: For obvious reasons.
  • Ham or cooked bacon: For optional smokiness.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Split Pea Soup displayed on a cutting board.

How to make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

  1. Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the oil, butter, or bacon fat.
  2. Add the diced onion, chopped celery, and diced carrots to the Instant Pot. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and salt, and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Add the split peas, stock or water, bay leaves, and fresh thyme (if using) to the Instant Pot.
  5. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then use the quick release for any remaining pressure.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the soup. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency.
  8. If using chopped ham, stir it into the soup after blending.
  9. Season with cracked black pepper and adjust salt to taste.
  10. Serve it piping hot!

What goes well with Split Pea and Ham Soup?

Split pea soup is great on its own, but if you want a little something extra, here are some fun options:

  • Crusty Bread: For ripping and dipping.
  • Crackers: Saltine crackers or Stoned Wheat Thins are super nostalgic and add a nice crunch.
  • Cheese: Grated Parmesan, cheddar, or Gruyère cheese sprinkled on top adds a gooey twist.
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt adds creaminess and a hint of tang to the soup.
  • Chopped Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or chives can add a burst of freshness.
  • Bacon Bits: Crumbled bacon adds a smoky and savory element that complements the earthy flavors of split pea soup.
  • Croutons: Why does Caesar salad get all the fun?
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickled cucumbers, onions, or other pickled vegetables can provide a tangy contrast to the rich and hearty soup.
  • Hot Sauce: If you like a bit of heat, a dash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can give your split pea soup a spicy kick.
  • Side Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can be a refreshing side dish to balance the heartiness of the soup.
A closeup shot of a bowl of split pea and ham soup.

How to store this soup

To keep your Split Pea Soup as fresh as possible, be sure to allow it to cool to room temperature before packing it away in the fridge. You want this process to happen as quickly as possible, to avoid having the soup sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The best way to do this is to transfer the soup into shallow containers to allow more heat to escape, or to use an ice water bath to cool it even faster.

Once cooled, store the soup in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. To freeze it, use freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn and store frozen for up to 2 months.

Hot tip: Whether you’re storing the soup in the fridge or in the freezer, label the containers or bags with the date! It’ll help ensure “first-in-first-out” rotation.

Thawing and reheating instructions

When you’re ready to dig in, move the soup from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly—preferably overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature because room temperature is the danger zone and we like safety around here!

Reheat the soup on the stove over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or scorching. You can also reheat it in the microwave, using short bursts and stirring in between to ensure even heating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make this split pea soup without an Instant Pot? A: Sure! You can still make delicious split pea soup on the stovetop. Just follow the same steps, but instead of using the pressure cooker function, simmer the soup on low heat for about 1-2 hours or until the peas are tender.

Q: Can I leave out the ham or bacon? A: Yes, you can definitely leave out the ham or bacon for a vegetarian version of split pea soup. The soup will still be flavorful and hearty thanks to the other ingredients.

Q: Can I use yellow or green split peas for this recipe? A: This recipe specifically calls for green split peas, which have a slightly milder flavor compared to yellow split peas. However, if you only have yellow split peas on hand, you can still make the soup with them. Just keep in mind that the color and taste may be slightly different.

Q: Can I adjust the consistency of the soup? A: Definitely. If you prefer a thicker soup, you can reduce the amount of liquid or increase the amount of split peas. On the other hand, if you prefer a thinner soup, you can add more stock or water.

Q: Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh thyme? A: Yes, you can use dried thyme instead of fresh thyme in this recipe. However, keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different. Dried herbs are more concentrated, so you’ll need to use less compared to fresh herbs. Start with about 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and adjust to taste.

Q: Can I add other veggies to the soup? A: Yes, you can add other veggies to the soup to customize the flavor and texture. Some popular additions include potatoes, leeks, frozen peas, or spinach. If you’re adding spinach or another leafy green, add it towards the end of the cooking time to preserve its vibrant color.

Perfect for the cozy months!

This Instant Pot split pea soup is hearty and flavor-packed, perfect for chilly days or when you need a bowl of comfort. Let me know if you make it, and although it’s not winning any beauty contests, be sure to send pics!

A closeup shot of a bowl of split pea and ham soup.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup (Ham Optional)

This Instant Pot Split Pea Soup is so hearty and delicious. Made with green split peas and veggies, it’s perfect for the cozy months—with or without ham.
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, British
Servings 6 servings
Calories 388 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot (Not Required)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp oil butter, or bacon fat
  • 1 onion large, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots large, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 450 grams dried split peas green or yellow
  • 1500 millilitres stock or water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh thyme optional
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 200 grams ham chopped, optional

Instructions
 

  • Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the oil, butter, or bacon fat.
  • Add the diced onion, chopped celery, and diced carrots to the Instant Pot. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and salt, and cook for an another minute.
  • Add the split peas, stock or water, bay leaves, and fresh thyme (if using) to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then use the quick release for any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the soup. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency.
  • If using chopped ham, stir it into the soup after blending.
  • Season with cracked black pepper and adjust salt to taste.
  • Serve it piping hot!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 26gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 2579mgPotassium: 935mgFiber: 20gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4062IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 4mg
Keyword instant pot, soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great soup, I make a double batch each time the pressure can it or freeze it.

  2. Maureen D

    I tried this method yesterday after cooking my pea soup in a pot for hours for many years and this is the way I will do it forever now. It came out perfect just the way we love it and cook time was only 15 minutes.

  3. 1lb dried peas?

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