There is nothing better on a cold, January day than a big bowl of split pea soup. It’s hearty … it’s filling … and it’s just so darned tasty!
What makes it even better is that it can be made with dried peas in under 20 minutes using an Instant Pot. Don’t have an instant pot?? (and why not?? Find out why you need one here!) I’ve made this recipe for years in both a crock pot and in a stock pot on the stove. The only difference is the time it takes.
A couple of points to consider:
- Bacon or ham — your choice. I write this recipe as I originally used it — with bacon. I still occasionally use bacon, but now I use ham. When I started making this recipe, I never had ham but I always had bacon. I’ve gotten into the habit of baking a spiral ham once or twice a year and I freeze 99% of the ham – including the ham bone. If I don’t have ham I use bacon. If I don’t have either one handy, I use bacon fat and a package of Goya Ham Seasoning. This recipe is very flexible.
- Buy chicken stock, make your own chicken stock or use bullion — your choice. The best chicken stock will be what you make yourself. It’s also the least expensive. My chicken stock costs me roughly $0.05 per pint. You can buy pre-made chicken stock in the grocery store, but I’ve never been a fan. It just never seems to taste all that good for the money I’m paying. If I don’t have my own chicken stock on hand, I’ll use bullion or just plain water. I used plain water for years before I started using chicken stock and my Split Pea Soup was always tasty.
- Instant pot, stove top or crock pot — your choice. Instant pot takes 15-20 minutes once the pot has reached pressure. Stove top takes roughly 2 hours — just test the peas for “smush” factor. I hate crunchy peas! Crock pot takes about 8 hours.
- Potatoes or no potatoes — your choice. I didn’t start out using potatoes. We ended up with some last minute dinner guests ages back and the split pea soup was already cooking. I didn’t have more split peas, so I cut up some potatoes and added them to extend the recipe to feed the extra guests. We discovered we liked the soup better when we added potatoes. Serendipity!
- Yeast bread or corn pudding muffins — yes, please! We normally don’t have anything else with our soup other than a slice or 2 of my no-knead bread or corn pudding muffins. This soup is really filling, so you don’t need anything else.
Tools you’ll need for this recipe:
- Instant pot, medium stock pot or crock pot
- Good quality chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler/scraper
- Measuring cups
- Wooden spoon & soup ladle
Pour the dried peas into a large bowl and fill the bowl with hot tap water. Allow them to soak until it’s time to add to the instant pot to cool. There’s no need for an extended soak.
Turn on your instant pot on the Saute function. Once the pot says HOT, add your chopped bacon and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent. If you decide to use ham instead of bacon – just add bacon fat to the pot with the onions.
Turn the pot off and add the rest of the ingredients except the peas. Drain the water from the peas and add them to the pot.
Put the lid on the pot and turn it on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, allow for a natural release.
Ladle into bowls, serve with hot, buttery bread and enjoy!!
Hearty Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Potatoes
- 3-4 slices bacon chopped
- 2 cups split peas
- 3 medium carrots chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 potatoes cubed
- 2 tbsp fat for frying opt.
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place peas in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water to soak while prepping
- Heat Instant Pot on Saute function. When it reads HOT, add chopped bacon (or 2 T bacon fat) and then add onion and cook until onions are translucent
- Add broth and scrape bottom of pot to loosen browned bits
- Stir in all remaining ingredients except peas
- Drain peas and add to the pot
- Set Instant Pot to manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes. When timer goes off, allow a natural release
- Stir gently to combine and salt and pepper to taste when serving