Instant Pot split pea soup is a hearty, delicious soup that you can easily make in a little oven a hour and without soaking the peas! This hearty soup is made with split peas, smoked pork, and vegetables. Smoked pork gives split pea soup a special flavor that everyone loves.
When the weather turns cold, our bodies need extra energy to keep running. This is why we crave hearty, protein-packed meals in the winter. Winter is definitely the time break our your favorite recipes for soups, stews, and chili.
If you’re a fan of the traditional split pea soup, you remember that it can take hours to make. It’s healthy, flavorful, and delicious, but it takes 4 hours to make. Just like the homemade chicken noodle soup, it’s totally worth the time, BUT I can save you a lot of time by using a pressure cooker. It’s my best friend when it comes to cooking food that normally takes hours!
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
It’s a common belief that you need to soak split peas before you use them, but it isn’t always necessary. Split peas are thin enough that you can rinse them to remove any dirt, then cook them in an Instant Pot without soaking them first.
This hearty soup recipe will save you so much time!
This is a partial list of ingredients, for the purposes of notes. The full list (with amounts) is in the recipe card below.
- Smoked pork neck, hock, or shank– You can find these in most grocery stores and smoked flavor will be a great additions. You can also use a leftover ham bone from the holiday dinner.
- Cooking oil– I use canola oil, but use any neutral flavor cooking oil you prefer
- Large leek– Just use the white portion. You can discard the green leaves, or save them for making vegetable stock
- Carrots– Make sure to dice them small so it’s bite-sized.
- Garlic cloves– Crushing fresh cloves of garlic releases more its essential oil and flavor. You can crush and then mince it.
- Dried split peas– Either green or yellow split peas can be used. Aside from the color, they’re exactly the same
- Vegetable or chicken stock– Homemade stock is easy to make, but keep in mind that it only keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge.
HOW TO CLEAN LEEKS
Leeks grow underground, so a lot of sand and grit tends to hide in between the leaves. It’s much easier to clean them after slicing.
- Cut off the green tops and end root. It’s okay to leave behind some of the light green color leeks . The dark green leaves are bitter and aren’t very tasty by themselves, but they’re great for making stock or broth.
- Slice the leeks. Slice them horizontally in half first, before washing. You will slice them more after.
- Rinse leeks under cold running water. Use your hands to gently move the layers to rinse in between. This helps to dislodge any stubborn sand and grit.
- Shake the water off well and finish cutting. You can shake off the water or pat it dry with a paper towel. Now, feel free to nice, slice, or julienne the leek halves.
How To Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
NOTE: Smoked ham hock, neck bones, or shank adds a lot of flavor to this soup. However, you can make vegetarian split pea soup if you prefer. Just omit the ham and use vegetable stock or broth.
- Prep the veggies and split peas.
Dice the vegetables, smash and mince the garlic cloves, and rinse the peas.
- Preheat the pressure cooker.
Set your pressure cooker to sauté setting and let it preheat for a couple of minutes.
3. Add oil and sauté the veggies.
Add leek, celery, and carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Let it cook undisturbed so it starts to get golden in color.
Make a little hole in the middle of vegetables and add garlic. Let it sauté until fragrant, then stir it into the other vegetables.
4. Add smoked pork, peas, stock, and seasonings.
Mix everything together and close the lid. Be sure to latch the lid and turn the steam release valve to the close/seal position.
5. Cook on HIGH for 15-18 minutes.
NOTE: The Instant Pot needs some time to build up pressure. It takes about 15 minutes before it starts cooking.
6. Natural release of pressure.
When the cooking time ends, turn off the unit and let it perform a natural release for 10-15 minutes. Then, carefully turn the steam valve to release any remaining pressure. After all of the steam releases, the pressure cooker will let you open the lid. BE CAREFUL, it’s hot!
Stir the soup and take out the bay leaf and smoked pork. Let the pork cool down and then pick out the meat that can be saved. Add the meat back into the soup and discard the rest.
NOTE: The soup may look brothy at first, but it will continue to thicken as the split peas absorb more water. If it thickens too much for your taste, add a little more heated stock.
Let the soup cool down completely and store in the refrigerator, in a food storage container with a lid. In the refrigerator, split pea soup will last for about a week. If you feel like it thickened to much, feel free to add a little bit of stock when reheating.
It’s important to cool cooked soup quickly before freezing. Place the pot with soup into a larger container filled with ice and let it cool, stirring occasionally.
Once soup is cooled to room temperature, portion it into freezer zip-lock bags. Get the air out and seal. Label and date each bag and lay them flat on a cutting board. Place it in the freezer. (You can also use plastic freezer storage containers.)
It’s easier to freeze soup in freezer bags to save room. When frozen flat, it can be stacked easily side by side or one of top of another.
Defrost soup overnight in the refrigerator.
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Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- 1 lb smoked pork neck, hock, or shank
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large leek
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 lb peas
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 1/2-4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- cracked black pepper
- Dice vegetables and set them aside. (For the leek:, only use the white part and discard the dark green leaves.) Smash cloves of garlic and mince. Rinse split peas under cold running water but do not soak. Set them aside.
- Set the pressure cooker to sauté setting and let it preheat for a few minutes. Add oil and diced leek, carrots, and celery. Sauté until softened and starts to brown.
- Make a little hole in the middle of vegetables and add garlic. Let it sauté until fragrant and mix in with other vegetables.
- Add smoked pork and pour in the peas. Add seasoning, herbs, and bay leaves and pour in water and stock. Mix everything together and close the lid.
- Make sure the lid is latched and turn the steam release valve to the close/seal position.
- Set the pressure cooker to pressure cook HIGH for 15-18 minutes. NOTE: pressure cooker needs some time to build up the pressure so it will take about 15 minutes before it starts cooking.
- Once it's done cooking, let it do a natural release for 10-15 minutes and then carefully turn the steam valve to release remaining pressure. Once it's done, it will let you open the lid. Open carefully.
- Stir the soup and take out bay leave and smoked pork. Let the pork cool down and then pick out the meat that can be saved. Add the meat back into the soup and discard the rest.
- NOTE: the soup may look broth at first but it will continue to thicken as the peas absorb more water. So the soup will be thicker.