Many are beginning to realize the importance of pantry staples and being able to make a delicious meal from those items. Beans, lentils, rice and pasta are great to keep on hand because they last for a very long time and are quite versatile. One item I don’t see as often on these pantry lists is dried split peas and that’s a shame. If you haven’t had a steaming hot bowl of split pea soup lately, you are missing out. And if you have an Instant Pot you are only an hour away from an easy and nourishing meal.
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Split Pea Soup
My only experience with split pea soup as a child was when my family traveled to Solvang, California a few times to visit friends who lived in the area. There is a restaurant in nearby Buellton called Pea Soup Andersen’s, and we ate there a few times. As the name indicates, pea soup is their specialty. But have you ever seen it on any other restaurant menu?
I’m not sure what made me think of it but a few years ago I decided to buy some split green peas and made soup. It was delicious! Now that I have an Instant Pot it is extremely easy to make and cleanup is a breeze.
Split pea soup is nourishing, relatively low in calories, with good amounts of fiber and protein. Bonus: Dried split peas are inexpensive!
Split Pea Soup
Use the Instant Pot to make this easy and nourishing split pea soup.
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups dried split green peas
- leftover ham (bone, if possible)
- 1 bay leaf
- garlic powder, black pepper, pinch of cayenne to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
Melt butter in Instant Pot on sauté setting, add diced vegetables and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly softened.
Add chicken broth, split peas, ham, bay leaf and seasonings.
Add lid making sure vent is set to sealing.
Set to manual, high pressure for 15 minutes.
Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then quick release.
Remove ham bone if you used one or chunks of ham if that's what you used. Cut up the meat and add back to the pot.
Taste and adjust seasoning. You probably won't need salt if the chicken broth is salted and you use ham so wait until soup is cooked before adding any.
I had a bag of big chunks of cooked ham in my freezer and just added a few frozen pieces. No need to thaw!
Split pea soup is basically an all-in-one meal so you don’t need to bother with several side dishes. I like to serve it with cornbread. Biscuits, rolls, homemade bread or even just a handful of crackers are other options.
Have you ever made split pea soup? Give it a try sometime!
- Substitute olive oil for the butter when sautéing the vegetables.
- Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- Skip the ham. You could use a vegan alternative if desired or just leave it out. You’ll need more seasoning without the ham and you can add a drop or two of Liquid Smoke if you want a bit of that smoky ham flavor.
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