Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham is a classic version of this hearty soup on fast forward. All the flavors of classic split pea soup with a fraction of the cooking time, thanks to the Instant Pot.
Smoked ham hock gives this soup incredible flavor, while crispy cubes of diced ham serve as the perfect garnish for this delicious, comforting soup.
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instant pot split pea soup
Recently I asked a question over here and many of the answers had a common thread. Recipes that are healthy, uncomplicated and FAST. Emphasis on that last one. Everyone wants to feed their family well, but we are also constantly running from one place to the next. This makes getting a decent dinner on the table a bit more challenging.
Fast Split Pea Soup
Can you just make this on the stove? Sure. But, here’s the kicker: You have to actually stand there and watch it. That is the magic of this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup – dump everything in and walk away.
Have you ever forgotten to take something out for dinner and realize at 5:30, when everyone is whining about dinner and being hungry, that you have no game plan? Glad I’m not alone.
This is where the Instant Pot really shines. You can literally throw in a handful of ingredients and have dinner 30 minutes later. I’ve had my Instant Pot for a couple of years and while I don’t make everything in it, it’s a great alternative to stove-top cooking for certain things, like braises, soups, stocks, etc.
Instant Pot split pea
Contrary to the name, it’s not “instant”. You do have to wait a few minutes for the pressure to come up and there is a period of waiting while the pressure releases. Luckily, not much really has to release naturally, you can coax it along when you’re in a hurry, which is literally all the time, am I right?
As you can see from the photo, this soup is thick. I am not a fan of thin split pea soup. I like to see the pieces of vegetables and I love the texture of the split peas. I use roughly 5 – 6 cups of stock, which gives me the perfect texture for this soup.
If you prefer your soup thinner than this, add an extra cup of stock to your soup. This also stretches it to feed an extra person, which can come in handy.
Vegan Instant Pot Split Pea soup
To make this soup vegan or vegetarian, you’ll make a few simple swaps. First, omit the ham hocks and diced ham garnish. Instead of chicken stock, use vegetable stock in its place. These two simple changes make this soup vegan. Whether you are making these changes for yourself, or for friends you are inviting to dinner, just two simple swaps change this soup from a meaty version to a meat-free version.
Need an oil-free version? No problem. Simmer the vegetables in a bit of stock for a few minutes instead of sautéeing them in oil.
Whichever version you make, serve it in wide, shallow bowls (if you have them) and enjoy a comforting bowl of soup. This is also great for weekday lunches. It will keep you satisfied through the afternoon without that 4:00 slump.
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USED IN THIS RECIPE:
- 1 pound green split peas, rinsed and sorted
- 5 - 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 small smoked ham hock
- 1 cup diced ham - browned, for garnish
- Turn the Instant Pot on to the sauté function. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent.
- Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir again and cook for an additional minute.
- Place ham hock in the pot, add chicken stock and split peas.
- Give it another stir, then place lid on and lock into position. Set steam lever to "sealing" position on top of the lid.
- Cancel "saute" function and select "manual". Set to 20 minutes (using the +/- buttons).
- When the timer goes off, let the pot naturally release for 10 - 12 minutes, then you can move the lever to venting to carefully release some of the steam.
- Open the lid, remove the ham hock and the bay leaves. Discard them.
- Stir soup and serve as is or with browned diced ham on top.
I like my soup thick and a little pureed, so I use an immersion blender to break it up a bit. Just a few quick zaps gives it the perfect texture.
If you like your soup on the thicker side, use 5 cups of stock. If you like it less thick, use 6. It will thicken as it sits, so I do not recommend less than 5 cups of liquid. Otherwise, you'll end up with something that isn't very soup-like.
I used 6 cups of stock and gave the soup a few zaps with the immersion blender. You can see in the photo that there is still some texture to the soup, there are small pieces of vegetables and it is nice and thick.
To make this soup vegan or if you are looking for a very health-conscious recipe, omit the ham hock and diced ham garnish. A teaspoon of liquid smoke may be added in it's place to mimic the flavor of the ham hock. Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 467Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 1640mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 6gSugar: 18gProtein: 32g
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