This Instant Pot split pea soup recipe can guarantee well-simmered and super smooth pea soup in just half the time you usually need for stovetop cooking.
Packed with ham and a mix of spices, this nutrient-dense soup is not only freezable but allows for healthy tweaks so you can easily make it compatible with your diet.
Is Split Pea Soup Good for You?
Yes, totally! But first, let’s get to know what’s in it.
Split peas are grayish-green or yellow dried peas that belong to the same food group as beans (we also have a recipe for them!), chickpeas, and lentils. Split peas get their name from the harvesting process in which their dried outer skin is removed and then “split” in half.
Ever since the medieval period, split peas have been widely used to make soup and sometimes peas pudding. Split pea soup is a heart-warming soup with peas, ham, and other vegetables of your choice. It’s usually served as a smooth puree with a smoky, nutty and mildly sweet flavor — and today, we’ll be trying the Instant Pot version of it.
Split peas are low in fat and calories while packing a punch of protein and fiber. Most of their calories come from protein and complex carbohydrates.
Split pea soup is enjoyed across many cultures and cuisines. It may provide you some health advantages as it contains these nutrients:
- Vitamin K: Activates enzymes that trigger blood-clotting formation, thus promoting wound healing.
- Potassium: Regulates blood pressure and activates enzymes that support metabolism.
- Dietary fiber: Keeps you full longer and fuels gut bacteria, thus improving digestive function.
What Do You Need for This Recipe?
With this Instant Pot split pea soup recipe, you can make an easy and heart-warming bowl of split pea soup in no time with a few simple and affordable ingredients.
Besides split peas, ham and unsalted chicken broth serve as the other two sources of protein for this soup. Ham adds an appetizing smoky flavor to the dish while chicken broth works in the background to help the ingredients thoroughly blend together.
Smoked turkey legs can also be a nice swap for ham. If you wish to make it completely vegan, simply leave the meat out and opt for vegetable stock or water instead of chicken broth, and olive oil instead of butter.
Check out our healthy instant pot dinner roundup for more delicious meals.
How to Cook Split Pea Soup in an Instant Pot
Without further ado, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to making this split pea soup recipe with illustration.
Soak the split peas overnight in cool, filtered water.
Quickly sauté butter and ham on “Sauté”.
Add onions, celery, and carrots.
Add salt, ground black pepper, bay leaves, and thyme.
Add the split peas.
Add chicken broth and heavy cream.
Remove the bay leaves. Cook on “Steam”.
Quick-release the steam, open lid and stir the soup.
Taste and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot.
Split peas cook very fast. The peas will be simmered to a purée, porridge-like texture and won’t retain their original shape, which is normal and is nothing to be anxious about.
Ham adds a significant amount of sodium to our Instant Pot split pea soup, so better taste it on the go and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Split pea soup always thickens once cooled down, so don’t freak out if it remains thin no matter how long you’ve been stirring it in the pot. You really don’t need any thickening agent for split pea soup — trust us, we know what we’re doing.
If you plan on preparing this dish in advance and refrigerating it for future use, you will probably have to thin it out a bit with water or broth when reheating.
Eager to try another creamy, cozy soup? See our Instant Pot Polenta Recipe — we promise you won’t regret it!
But Wait, There’s More!
Besides this tasty Instant Pot spit soup, we also have several amazing others that we would like you to try.
- Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice Recipe
- Instant Pot Bean Soup Recipe
- Instant Pot Black Beans Recipe
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe
- 5 oz split peas
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 oz ham
- 2 oz onion diced
- 4 oz celery chopped
- 4 oz carrots diced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 3 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- Soak the split peas overnight in cool, filtered water.
- Set the Instant Pot on the “Sauté” setting. Add butter and ham. Quickly sauté for a minute.
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add salt, ground black pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté for another minute.
- Drain the pre-soaked split peas. Add them to the pot to sauté.
- Add the chicken broth and heavy cream, give them a quick stir.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Place the lid on and set the steam release valve to sealing position. Cook on the “Steam” setting for 30 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn the steam release valve to venting position to quick-release the steam. Open the lid and stir the soup. It should have a similar consistency to porridge.
- Turn the Instant Pot back to “Sauté” setting for 5 minutes to thicken the soup a bit more if desired.
- Taste and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot.