Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup

Whip up soup in an instant using your electric pressure cooker!

split pea and ham soup

This Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup recipe is on my top ten list of ultimate comfort foods. The green peas melt together, giving body and texture to the soup while the ham scents everything with its sweet-and-salty flavor. But, here’s the thing: While I absolutely love eating split pea and ham, I have to admit that I don’t always enjoy making it.

It takes forever to cook on the stovetop, and sometimes the peas still don’t cook all the way through. Worse yet, they can burn to the bottom of the pot if you’re not careful. I’ve tried cooking it in a slow cooker to solve that problem, but I’m never fully satisfied with the flavor or the texture. Then, I got an electric pressure cooker. This Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup is the perfect way to make a worry-free version of my favorite soup!

Why the Instant Pot is the Best

Unlike the slow cooker, the Instant Pot not only creates the perfect texture for this soup, but it brings the flavors together in an incredible way. I love that it doesn’t take all day to cook, either! Just pressure cook it for 20 minutes, and the unsoaked split peas are ready to eat. Even considering the sautéing step and the time it takes for the pressure to come up and down, this soup takes less than an hour (something that’s impossible on the stovetop!).

There are so many benefits to cooking this soup in an Instant Pot. For starters, that Saute function lets you sear the bacon and soften the vegetables before cooking the soup. With a slow cooker, you’d have to use a separate pot if you wanted to develop those layers of flavor. That means more things to clean later, so no thanks!

Then, because the Instant Pot cooks under pressure, it creates the perfect consistency without worrying about anything burning. The slow cooker seems to create excess condensation, dripping extra liquid into the soup and watering it down. Since liquid can’t evaporate in a pressure cooker, you don’t have to worry about that with this Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup!

Prefer a Thicker Soup?

Some people like their split pea and ham soup thin and watery. Personally, I prefer my soup a touch on the thick side. Somehow, that makes it taste heartier and more filling! Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools, especially if you put it in the refrigerator. But, if you want a thicker consistency and you don’t have time to wait, we have a little trick to help you get there.

Ladle out a few spoonfuls of the soup and place it in a high-powered blender. Puree it until it’s nice and smooth before stirring it back into the soup. Blending the peas helps bind them together, creating a natural way to thicken your soup without having to add flour or cornstarch. That keeps this soup gluten-free!

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Chef Nichole

Nichole has a culinary degree from Great Lakes Culinary Institute and has worked in the culinary industry for 10 years. She also has the knowledge to write recipes using the most nutritious, fresh, and balanced ingredients. Nichole enjoys creating healthy and tasty recipes anyone can prepare, no matter their cooking skill level.

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