Whether made in the Instant Pot or on top of the stove, split pea soup is easy to prepare and full of flavor.

Split Pea Soup

How To Make Split Pea Soup on the Stove

The formula for making this classic soup is so simple, you almost don't need a recipe.

It starts by sautéing chopped onion and celery in a bit of oil until softened.

Next, you add a ham bone (or hocks), chopped carrots, diced ham, dried split peas, a bay leaf and a combination of low-sodium chicken broth and water.

Set the pot on the stove to simmer, give it a stir from time to time and once the peas have broken down completely it's done!

You can turn a bowl of this hearty soup into a complete meal by serving it along with slices of toasted baguette and butter and a crisp green salad.

Instant Pot Version

We've made split pea soup both on top of the stove, and in our Instant Pot. Both methods produce great results and the Instant Pot will save you about 10 minutes cooking time.

The Instant Pot method for making this soup is essentially the same as the stovetop version above, with slight variations on the timing. You can find those details outlined in the recipe below.

Split Pea Soup Recipe
Classic Split-Pea Soup

Classic Split-Pea Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Our recipe for split pea soup is easy to prepare, full of flavor and can be made in the Instant Pot or on top of the stove.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 ham bone or 2 small smoked ham hocks (see notes)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups diced ham
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 cups water
  • 1 lb (about 2-1/4 cups) dried split peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Stovetop Method

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, ham bone, diced ham, split peas, chicken broth, 2 cups of water and bay leaf to the pot.
  3. Bring the soup mixture to a slow simmer and cover, leaving the lid slightly askew.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas have broken down completely and the soup has thickened, 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaf.
  6. Stir the soup to blend thoroughly and if necessary, add more water until the thickness of the soup is to your liking.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls for serving.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Press the "sauté" button on the Instant Pot, let it heat for about 1-1/2 minutes, then add the vegetable oil, onion and celery. Sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Cancel the "sauté" function and add the carrots, ham bone, diced ham, split peas, chicken broth, 2 cups of water and bay leaf to the pot.
  3. Lock the cover onto the Instant Pot and use the "manual" function to set the pot to cook for 18 minutes at high pressure.
  4. Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure by turning the steam valve to the venting position. Be sure to keep your hands and face away from the top of the Instant Pot as you do.
  5. Unlock the cover, remove the ham bone and bay leaf and discard.
  6. Stir the soup to blend thoroughly and if necessary, add more water until the thickness of the soup is to your liking. 
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls for serving.

Notes

Split Pea Soup Leftovers:

Split pea soup will thicken even more once refrigerated, so it's helpful to have some additional low-sodium chicken broth on hand to thin it a bit when reheating.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 769mg Carbohydrates: 23g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 5g Protein: 26g
Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.