Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Thanks to the handy pressure cooker, this recipe is a quick, easy, doable weeknight dinner that packs in flavor and fiber.

instant pot split pea soup
Photo: Photography: Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Karen Rankin
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

An electric multicooker, such as an Instant Pot, can speed up soup recipes that traditionally require a long simmer. Thanks to the faster cooking time, this hearty, fiber-rich, nutritious soup turns out creamy, but not mushy. The split peas retain their green color and the carrots stay orange. Don't skip the sherry vinegar, which might sound odd in a soup recipe, but its acidity perks up all of the other flavors. A finishing drizzle of good olive oil, sprinkling of thyme leaves, and dusting of fresh ground pepper add bursts of flavor at serving time.


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 (8-ounce) package diced ham

  • 1 large (11 ounce) leek, thinly sliced (2 cups)

  • 2 medium (8 ounces total) carrots, thinly sliced (2 cups)

  • 2 medium (3 ounces total) celery stalks, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped finely (1 tablespoon)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish

  • 1 (14- to 16- ounce) bag dried split peas, sorted (2 cups)

  • 6 cups lower-sodium chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar


  1. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat 3 to 4 minutes. Add oil; let heat 30 seconds. Add ham, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add peas, stock, and thyme; stir to combine, scraping bottom of cooker to release any browned bits.

  2. Press CANCEL. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 11 minutes. (It will take 10 to 11 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.) Once pressure cooking has stopped, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 2 to 3 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Stir in vinegar. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls. Drizzle with additional oil, and garnish with additional pepper and thyme.

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