Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham

Red bowl full of green split pea soup on a wooden table
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham

Thanks to a tip from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, I can make Instant Pot split pea soup as thick as any fog.1

That tip? Make sure to quick release the pressure. The pressure release starts a vigorous boil inside the pot, boiling, roughing up the peas and releasing their starch into the soup. My pea soups used to be a little watery; now I can practically stand a spoon in them. (Not really, but you know what I mean.)

Pork and peas are a perfect pair, so I add pork in two different ways. A smoked pork hock gives up its flavor to the peas, and cubed ham adds meaty bites to the soup. I also sauté my vegetables – a mix of onion, celery, carrot, and garlic – to add a sweet undertone to the bowl. Don’t skip the sauté step – the soup will be bland without it.

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Red bowl full of green split pea soup on a wooden table

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 bowls of soup
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham. Soup as thick as a fog, from dried split peas, in about an hour thanks to pressure cooking!


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices (or 4 ounces pre-sliced carrots)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound green split peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 medium pork hock (about 1 pound)
  • 8 ounces cubed ham
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Saute the aromatics and cubed ham: Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat in another pressure cooker), add the butter, and wait for the butter to melt and stop foaming, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and cubed ham to the pot, and then sprinkle with the dried thyme and ½ teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add beans, hock, and water to the pot: Add the split peas to the pot, nestle the smoked ham hock in the peas, pour in the water, and stir in another ½ teaspoon of salt.
  3. Pressure cook the soup for 18 minutes with a quick pressure release:Lock the lid on the pot and pressure cook for at high pressure for 18 minutes (Manual or Pressure Cooking setting in an Instant Pot), or 15 minutes in a stovetop PC. When the cooking time is over, quick release the pressure. If the quick-released steam starts spitting, close the quick release valve and let the pressure come down naturally for a few minutes before starting the quick release again. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the scalding hot steam.
  4. Season and serve:Fish the pork hock out of the pot and discard – it gave up its flavor to the soup. Stir in the fresh ground black pepper and serve.

Notes

  • Don’t go over the half-full line on your pot when cooking split peas. They tend to foam up and can block the pressure valves, which could be bad news. There’s a reason everyone has a family story about grandma’s pressure cooker exploding and spraying pea soup all over the kitchen…and it starts with an overfilled pressure cooker.
  • This recipe is sized for a 6-quart pressure cooker, right up to the half-full line. Halving the recipe is fine, but don’t increase the ingredients unless you have a larger cooker.

Tools

Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Soup

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Senate Bean Soup
Pressure Cooker Bean Mix Soup
Pressure Cooker Black-Eyed Peas
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes

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  1. Turns out, a “pea soup fog” is bad news. Reading about the London Pea Soup Fog of 1952 took me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole…focus! Back to the soup! ↩︎

3 Comments

  1. I’m going to try this and try it a second time with whole yellow peas. Thanks for being there. I appreciate you.

  2. I made this soup today. It’s delicious, much better than versions I’ve made before in a crock pot.
    I really enjoy your site. Going to try making a cheesecake next…
    Thanks!

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