Hearty Instant Pot Split Pea Soup


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Instant Pot split pea soup is perfect for a winter weeknight dinner. Its nutritious and comforting, plus in the Instant Pot only takes about 30 minutes to make.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup in two bowls and two hands holding bowl and spoon

Is split pea soup healthy?

This delicious soup is healthy, providing you with important nutrients.

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Zinc

Are split peas the same regular peas?

Split peas are a type of field pea that is grown specifically for drying. The peas are hulled and then split in half along their natural seam, giving them their name. Because these peas are divided and smaller, they do not require as much soaking time.

You will find both yellow and green split peas. They have the same nutritional values, but yellow split peas have an earthy flavor. Green split peas are sweeter.

closeup of texture of instant pot split pea soup on a spoon

Should split peas be soaked?

I recommend soaking your split peas before making this recipe. It decreases your cooking time and ensures that all the peas will be soft.

They are also, way easier to digest, the longer you soak them.

However, if you forget to soak the peas, your dinner can still be made easily. Just add ten minutes to the time on the Instant Pot to accommodate for the unsoaked peas.

What ham is best for soup?

Any leftover ham will work for this soup. If you have the ham bone, even better. Toss that in to increase the flavor of the soup. The marrow and gelatin left in the bone will end up in your soup creating a rich flavor.

If you are purchasing ham specifically for this Instant Pot split pea soup recipe, I recommend a glazed ham or a ham shank. Ham hocks arent as meaty as other choices. You want to cut the ham into thick cubes. If you want a vegetarian version of this recipe, just omit the ham.

This soup is very similar to Instant Pot Lentil Soup so lentils can be used here as well.

Why use a natural release?

The natural release on the Instant Pot means that you do nothing. Let the ingredients inside come to normal pressure on their own. This does take some time; the exact amount of time is based on how full the Instant Pot is.

However, with meals like soup, a foam will be created in the Instant Pot. If you were to do a manual release of the pressure, the foam would shoot through the valve creating a risk of burns. Also, the ingredients continue to cook in the pot while the pressure decreases.

Can Instant Pot split pea soup be frozen?

This is a great freezer meal recipe. Split pea soup freezes well and will last for two to three months. Because of this, you can double or even triple the soup recipe so you have plenty to freeze. You dont even have to adjust the cooking time. A larger portion means that the Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure, but the cooking time will be the same.

Allow the soup to cool completely before putting it in a freezer-safe container or bag. For small portion sizes, you can freeze the soup in a silicone muffin tin. When you want to eat the soup, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can heat small portions in the microwave or an entire pot on the stovetop.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Instant Pot split pea soup is perfect for a winter weeknight dinner. Its nutritious and comforting, plus in the Instant Pot only takes about 30 minutes to make.

  • 1 lbs dried split peas, soaked (to use unsoaked peas add 10 minutes high-pressure cooking time)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 6 cup flavorful chicken bone broth
  • 10 oz smoked ham
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • parsley
  1. Soak split pease at least 2 hours, better overnight (up to 12 hours). Drain and rinse.

  2. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic.

  3. Peel and dice carrots, wash and dice celery.

  4. Dice ham.

  5. Preheat your Instant Pot by pressing the saut button.

  6. Once hot, add a little oil or butter or a combination of both and add onion and garlic. Stir fry until translucent.

  7. Add diced vegetables and stir-fry until bright (about 3-4 minutes).

  8. Add broth, herbs, ham, and peas.

  9. Put on the lid and flip the valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes on high pressure.

  10. After the 15-minute pressure cooking time is over, let the pressure release naturally (at least 15 minutes). Do not turn the sealing valve manually for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes it's safe to turn the sealing valve and let remaining pressure out but full natural pressure release is always better.

  11. Once pressure released naturally and the safety pin dropped, open the pot, fish out the bay leaves and give the soup a try. Season with sea salt and pepper if necessary.

  12. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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