In 40 minutes, your electric pressure cooker can transform frozen smoked ham hocks and dried split peas into the most delicious and healthy PRESSURE COOKER SPLIT PEA SOUP!
Do you have an electric pressure cooker yet? They’re all the rage now. I got mine about a year ago and was super scared and intimidated to try using it. First of all, the thought of high pressure scares me. I kept envisioning the lid blowing up during the cooking process. I consider pressure cooking very similar to canning – people have been doing it for years and its a tried and true method of preparing food. I have a Cuisinart pressure cooker but the Instapot seems to be everyone’s favorite.
I’ve made split pea soup plenty of times on the stove top. Never has it been as delicious or as easy to prepare as when I make it in the pressure cooker. I have made it exactly the same way three times now using this recipe and it turns out perfectly. The only thing I season it with before serving is freshly ground pepper. The salt and incredible flavor from the ham hocks is all you really need.
The total cooking time for this soup is 40 minutes under high pressure – 30 minutes to cook the frozen ham hocks and another 10 with the added peas and veggies. Keep in mind that it still takes time for the cooker to come up to pressure, so factor that into your timing. That being said, it takes hours for peas to soften on the stove.
There are other reasons why I prefer the pressure cooker as opposed to the cooktop for this recipe. First, the flavor is amazing. By cooking under pressure, you’re preserving all of the flavor and vitamins in your food and it just tastes a million times better than when you cook it on the stove or in the crock pot. Sorry slow cooker fans – the pressure cooker wins when it comes to a soup like this. Second reason is the consistency. When you cook soup in a pot or in a slow cooker, you lose a lot of your liquid to evaporation. Not with the pressure cooker. You have so much more control. Split pea soup that is too thick or too thin is just gross. Perfect consistency is key. This recipe is incredibly easy and I love making soups like this for a healthy family dinner that can be enjoyed any day of the week!
- 2-3 smoked ham hocks frozen
- 10 cups water
- 1 lb dried split peas
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Place frozen ham hocks in pressure cooker and cover with 10 cups of water. Seal lid, bring to high pressure, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure to open the lid. Remove the ham hocks and transfer to a cutting board to allow to cool. Add split peas, onion, carrot, celery, and thyme to liquid in pressure cooker.
- Bring back to high pressure and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Once done, allow to naturally release the pressure.
- While the split peas are cooking, shred the meat from the ham hocks. Discard any bones and fat.
- The soup will appear thin at first, but once you stir it well and the split peas dissolve, it will thicken. If you prefer your soup to be even thicker, you can mash up the ingredients with a potato masher or process half of the soup through a blender on low speed and then recombine with the remaining soup. Prior to serving, add the shredded pork back in.
If you love homemade soup made with fresh ingredients, be sure to check out my Fresh Beet Soup:
And my hearty Winter Minestrone Soup: