As a child, I always turned up my nose to Split Pea Soup. Was it the color? Too bad, because I’m sure Mom’s soup was great: starting with a ham bone, cooked on the stove top; the whole bit.
As an adult with wiser taste buds, I love this. However, I thought I could do it the way Mom did: purchasing ham on the bone, serving a “normal” meal of ham and then saving the bone thinking I could use it for soup.
You know what? HUGE pain! My pot was too small for the bone and I had no way to cut the bone smaller. The experience was entirely too much work.
Still, I wanted the ham flavor. Plus, I like the ease of the Instant Pot. So, I started with a recipe found at culinaryginger.com and revised it by replacing the ham bone with diced ham. I also added a potato because, I don’t know, I thought I’d try potato in split pea soup. Why not?
Throw it all in the Instant Pot and – voila! Delicious soup!
My Instant Pot has a “Soup/Broth” setting, which automatically sets the cooking time to 35 minutes. Pushing for a faster cooking time, I tried this soup at 30 minutes and it was still great. But, when I reduced the cooking time to 25 minutes, I took things too far. Yes, the soup was done and the vegetables were tender, but the split peas were barely broken down. So, learn from my mistake, do not cook for less than 30 minutes.
When you open the Instant Pot following the cook cycle, it will look like a pot of thin, hot broth with a few veggies floating on top.
Not to worry. Give it a stir and the cooked-down peas will rise up and embrace the broth giving it that classic split pea soup look.
I have used both chicken and vegetable broth for this and didn’t notice a difference. Of course, if you use vegetable broth and omit the ham, you’ll have a vegetarian soup. I haven’t tried this, so if anyone does, please let me know how it turns out.
In addition, this soup freezes very well. I made this on consecutive days for the specific purpose of freezing portions for later.
This hearty soup is guaranteed to warm you on a chilly day!
Split Pea Soup by Instant Pot
- 2 TB olive oil
- 8 oz ham diced
- 1 yellow onion medium, diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 medium potato peeled and diced
- 16 oz split peas
- 8 cups broth vegetable or chicken
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté. Add oil and then onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the ham and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add all other ingredients and stir. Seal Instant Pot and turn it to the Soup/Broth setting (35 minutes).
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to vent naturally for at least 20 minutes before manually venting and opening.
- Remove bay leaf and stir the soup well to distribute all ingredients.