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Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

This 30-minute Instant Pot split pea soup is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. Made with tender split peas, smoked pork shoulder, and fresh vegetables, you won’t be able to get enough of this hearty, creamy, and flavorful dish!

two crocks filled with pea soup with a serving bowl behind it

I love this pea soup so much not only because of how comforting and delicious it is, but I especially like the taste of the smoky flavor of the smoked shoulder.

My sister gave all of her children Instant Pots, pressure cookers for Christmas one year. The following Easter, she hosted the family dinner. A week before the holiday, my nephew Bryan texted to ask if I would give him a ‘lesson’ in the instant pot when we were together. Of course I said yes, as my instant pot and I are on very good terms.

You could say I have smooched its shiny cheek more than once.

During a lull in the festivities, Bryan brought his IP in from the car and I started telling him how it worked and how to use it. I guess the rest of his siblings didn’t realize Bryan had asked me in advance for the demonstration. They thought I loved my IP so much that I would spontaneously start schooling people on all of its glorious attributes.

I was too busy talking to hear, but later Christopher told me that everyone looking on agreed I sounded like an infomercial. The only thing missing was free samples!

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Helpful tips

  • I chose to sauté the vegetables but you don’t have to. Want to save some calories on the oil? Omit it and also skip the sautéing, just throw all the ingredients together in the IP.
  • I use beef broth in this recipe because of the robust flavor, but if you prefer, you can use chicken broth instead.
  • The instant pot always takes around 10 – 15 minutes to come to pressure, so if you are planning on timing your meal, factor that in.
  • Also, if you aren’t going to do a quick release of the pressure, you must factor in that time as well.  The instant pot takes between another 15 – 25 minutes to release the pressure.
  • If I’m in a hurry, I usually wait 5 minutes, then don an oven mitt and release the pressure manually but tapping at the venting knob.  Be careful, the steam can burn you.
  • You can make this alcohol free by substituting it with 1/4 cup more broth or leave out altogether for a slightly thicker soup.
  • Use dry sherry or wine because dry spirits contain noticeably less sugar and you don’t want your soup to have more sugar than is already found in the peas, onions and carrots.  It would be too sweet.
  • You can make this vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the cooked smoked pork shoulder or ham.
  • Have leftover soup? You can either store it in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week, or in the same container in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Sometimes I’ll add 3 crushed garlic cloves to this soup but I didn’t have any when I made it.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Split green peas – rinsed and picked over.
  • Carrots – cut into chunks.
  • Celery stalks – cut into slices.
  • Onion – Vidalia or yellow.
  • Beef broth – or chicken broth.
  • Water
  • Dry sherry – this can be omitted but adds such wonderful flavor.
  • White wine – dry like sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio.
  • Ham bone – also optional but also adds flavor.
  • Smoked shoulder – or ham hock, or leftover ham.
  • Salt – sea salt
  • Bay leaves

How to make IP pea soup

Step one

Gather the ingredients – split peas, chunked carrots, chopped onion and celery.

Split peas, carrots, onions and celery on a black board

Step two

Get out your instant pot or pressure cooker and plug it in. Press the saute button and after one minute, add oil.

Step three

Wait another minute for the oil to heat, then add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes.

Step four

Add carrots and celery, sauté for 2 minutes.

Step five

Gather the other ingredients – dry sherry, beef broth, and dry white wine

Dry sherry, beef broth and white wine on a black table

Step six

Add broth, water, split peas, sherry, wine, smoked pork shoulder or diced ham, bay leaves and salt.

Place the lid on the instant pot and seal it, make sure the vent knob is in the sealing position and press soup/broth button – make sure the mode is normal, and set to high pressure. Set the timer to 20 minutes.

Step seven

After the instant pot beeps that it is done cooking, either do a quick release by donning an oven mitt and lightly tap the venting knob to the venting position, or you can just wait 15 – 25 minutes for the pressure to release on its own.

I pour the instant pot split pea soup into my lovely casserole dish and gather ’round some pita rounds and a salad.

A mustard colored casserole dish filled with pea soup. There are some pita bread in a bowl, a salad and a pepper mill in the background

I ladle the split pea soup into my serving bowls. I grind black pepper on my soup but not Christopher’s.

two crocks filled with the pea soup with pita and the serving bowl

Let’s look at a close up of the soup.

close up of ham and pepper in the split pea soup

I hope you enjoyed this instant pot split pea soup recipe! It’s thick, delicious and cooks so fast you barely have time to get out your dishes and set the table!

Other comforting meals

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Two crocks filled with pea soup with a spoon in the front one. There is ham and carrots on the top of the soup - square

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

This 30-minute Instant Pot split pea soup is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. Made with tender split peas, smoked pork shoulder, and fresh vegetables, you won’t be able to get enough of this hearty, creamy, and flavorful dish!
5 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Soup
Keyword: instant pot pea soup, pea soup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes
Servings: 7 cups
Calories: 286kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (large, chopped in chunks)
  • 4 carrots (4 – 6)
  • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups split peas (rinsed and picked over)
  • 1 ham bone (optional)
  • 2 cups smoked pork shoulder (or ham, chopped in bite sized pieces)
  • 1/8 cup sherry (dry)
  • 1/8 cup white wine (dry)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Plug in instant pot and press the sauté button.  Once the IP heats up, add olive oil and onions and sauté for 2 minutes
  • Add carrots and celery and sauté them for 2 minutes
  • Add broth, water, split peas, pork bone if using, smoked pork shoulder, sherry, wine, bay leaves, and salt.  Seal IP, making sure that the pressure knob is in the sealed position 
  • Press the soup/stew button – it will default to 20 minutes on normal
  • Once the timer beeps, you can either let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes or you can be in a hurry like me, don an oven mitt and carefully tap the release valve letting little spirts of steam out.  After a minute of tapping, turn the pressure relief from sealed to venting
  • Either transfer the instant pot split pea soup in a soup tureen or ladle directly in some soup crocks
  • Eat
  • Enjoy

Equipment

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Notes

Tips on making this soup
  • I chose to sauté the vegetables but you don’t have to. Want to save some calories on the oil? Omit it and also skip the sautéing, just throw all the ingredients together in the IP.
  • I use beef broth in this recipe because of the robust flavor, but if you prefer, you can use chicken broth instead.
  • The instant pot always takes around 10 – 15 minutes to come to pressure, so if you are planning on timing your meal, factor that in.
  • Also, if you aren’t going to do a quick release of the pressure, you must factor in that time as well.  The instant pot takes between another 15 – 25 minutes to release the pressure.
  • If I’m in a hurry, I usually wait 5 minutes, then don an oven mitt and release the pressure manually but tapping at the venting knob.  Be careful, the steam can burn you.
  • You can make this alcohol free by substituting it with 1/4 cup more broth or leave out altogether for a slightly thicker soup.
  • Use dry sherry or wine because dry spirits contain noticeably less sugar and you don’t want your soup to have more sugar than is already found in the peas, onions and carrots.  It would be too sweet.
  • You can make this vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the cooked smoked pork shoulder or ham.
  • Have leftover soup? You can either store it in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week, or in the same container in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Sometimes I’ll add 3 crushed garlic cloves to this soup but I didn’t have any when I made it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 1206mg | Potassium: 678mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg
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40 Comments

  1. Split pea soup is one of my go-to soups – will have to try this version in the Instant Pot – love that thing!

  2. I have a slow cooker split pea soup using yellow split peas and it’s always a favourite. Though, it really is hard to pick just one soup because I do enjoy them all…and year round. Love how quickly this one comes together in the Instant Pot. And those bowls? They’re so cute!! I’d love a bowl of this for lunch with a big hunk of homemade bread with butter. So hungry right now πŸ˜‰ P.S. a splash of white vinegar in there along with the pepper is divine!

    1. Thanks Dawn! My mom used to put white vinegar in it too and I totally forgot that! Fun. And thanks on the comment on the bowls. Thrift store specials!! Hehe!

  3. Ohhh, I love sherry in soup! It gives such a nice flavor, and I bet this is delicious. I’m definitely on a soup kick right now, so I can’t wait to give this a try ASAP.

  4. This hearty split pea soup is exactly the meal I’m sure my brother would enjoy, the next time he comes visiting us. Thank you for sharing, will print it to keep it at hand:)

  5. Well I do love a good split pea soup! I haven’t thought about doing it in the Instant Pot, but what a great idea! Just pinned this scrumptious number. Thanks Elaine!

  6. I don’t have an Instant Pot, but I do love pea soup. The perfect comfort food, and a great place to use that leftover ham bone. I do have a pressure cooker, so I will adapt this recipe to work in that… I know it will turn out delicious.

  7. My dad absolutely LOVES split pea soup, but he’s also really picky about it. He rarely likes the kind they serve in restaurants (too much cornstarch, he says) and struggles to find an accessible recipe he likes. I’m definitely going to have to make this for him next time he comes to visit! I bet he’d love it.

    1. Thanks Claire! I don’t like cornstarch in any of my soups, for sure. I can always taste it and I feel there is no need. I hope you do make it for him and he enjoyes it!

  8. Pea soup always reminds me of my mom and childhood) That was my favorite soup) This is a great idea to make it in Instant Pot! Definitely saving this recipe!)

  9. I tell my husband he sounds like an infomercial all the time! It’s been 90 the past few days here so I’m sooo excited for 60 degree weather next week so that soup can happen!

  10. Ha! Love the story about your IP “infomercial,” Elaine! If I ever do get around to buying one, I will have to ask you to give me the short tour, as well – no doubt you’ve mastered it when your soups come out looking this amazing!

  11. Wow that looks so comforting and warming. I bet that smoked shoulder gives the soup a super deep incredible flavour. I would have that with a crusty loaf of bread any day!

  12. I feel cozy just looking at this! I really need to get myself an instant pot so that I can dive into a bunch of your recipes headfirst.

  13. We’re finally supposed to cool off – and I”m looking forward to soup for lunch. I love to use the pressure cooker for that – I can set it up in the morning and forget it, then go ladle it out at lunch time! I hadn’t tried pea soup, though. I’d heard it would foam up but clearly that’s not a major issue for you – good to know!

    1. It never foamed up, but if I used my mother’s old fashioned pressure cooker, it probably would have. Thanks Anne!

  14. You know, I can’t even remember the last time I had split pea soup and yet it is one of my favorites! Yours looks so good!! Ahh wish I had an instant pot right now πŸ˜€

  15. Wow this split pea soup looks delicious and so creamy! Just the weeknight meal I was looking for!

  16. Whenver I see a recipe like this I just really, really want to buy an instant pot. Adding it to my Christmas list. This looks delicious.

  17. I tend to forget how sweet split pea is! And not in a sugary way, but in a tasty, toothsome veggie way. Smoked shoulder is a nice contrast. What a delicious soup. Thank you!

    1. Hi Rita, you probably could use soaked split peas, but one of the beauties of cooking with an instant pot, is that it’s so much faster than if you cook it on the stove. So, you don’t have to soak them. But if you do, I’d still keep the cooking time the same – 20 minutes. I don’t think it will be too much. You’ll have to let me know how it came out! Thank you for your question.