Split Pea Soup with Ham for the Instant Pot

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Split Pea Soup with the goodness of rich and savory ham is undeniably comforting when it comes to the table steaming hot on a cold, wet day.
Split Pea Soup
Split Pea Soup With Ham
Split Pea Soup With Ham

Split Pea Soup with the goodness of rich and savory ham is undeniably comforting when it comes to the table steaming hot on a cold, wet day.

This time-honored soup is made even easier in the Instant Pot. No more buying canned soup, make your own! You can make this soup with the leftover bone from your Easter ham, or use ham hock and ham steak for smokiness and extra meat.

What is Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup boasts a rich history that spans centuries and cultures. The origins of this comforting dish can be traced back to medieval Europe, where peas were a staple in the diet of the lower classes. In the 17th century, split pea soup gained popularity in France and England, eventually making its way across the Atlantic to the United States.

Throughout history, the soup has been cherished for its simplicity and nourishing qualities. It became a go-to dish during challenging times, providing sustenance and warmth to families across generations. In the Deep South, before the Civil War, pea soup was slave food. During the Great Depression, it was famine relief food. Today, it remains a beloved comfort food, capturing the essence of tradition in each spoonful.

Peas are very nutritious, and a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. When cooked, split peas break down and create a thick and creamy consistency. Split pea soup has a rich and earthy flavor, with a slightly sweet undertone. The dried split peas contribute to its distinct taste.

If you want a vegan experience, omit the ham. But, for those of us who enjoy meat in our soup, let’s talk about ham hocks and ham steak.

Southern Spice

This soup is not your ordinary soup. Like many Southern dishes, Tabasco sauce is added for extra flavor. As a matter of fact, the Scorpion type, Tabasco’s hottest sauce is used. If you don’t like spicy flavors, omit the Tabasco.

Ham Hocks and Ham Steak

Ham hocks are the extreme shank of the leg bone. They have a lot of fat and skin and are usually smoked. They add a lot of flavor to soups and are an essential ingredient in some Soul Foods. Ham hocks have to be braised and take a long to cook. This makes them perfect to flavor beans and peas as both have to cook for a long time.

Ham steaks, on the other hand, come from the leg of the pig. They often have a bone with some marrow in it. Some of us, like me, love to scoop up and savor the soft marrow. They are also a convenient way to enjoy a little bit of ham when you don’t want to or don’t have an entire ham roast.

If you want a little Christmas, right this very minute, get an extra ham steak and try our Ham Steak with Russian Red-Eye Gravy.

Instant Pot Convenience

Making soup in the Instant Pot or other multi-cooker couldn’t be simpler. If you have an Instant Pot that allows the inner pot to go on the stovetop, use that to saute your vegetables. Otherwise, use the Saute function or even saute the vegetables separately.

Your dish will be ready in about an hour. Since the ham hock is relatively fatty, I recommend using *meat-shredding claws after removing the bones, fat, and skin.

Split Pea Soup with Ham Recipe

Split Pea Soup With Ham Served

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup with the goodness of rich and savory ham is undeniably comforting when it comes to the table steaming hot on a cold, wet day.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings (slide to adjust): 8
Cuisine: American South
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty: Easy
Allergen: pork
Calories per serving: 483kcal

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, cubed
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 ham hocks, omit for Vegan
  • 1 ham steak, bone-in, omit for Vegan
  • 1 pound split peas
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon mint
  • 1 teaspoon Scorpion Tabasco
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
If you purchase ingredients through affiliate links noted *, I get a small commission for The Good Plate’s pantry. These and other links are there for your convenience.
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic. Ingredient measurements may vary due to measurement tools used.


  • Mise en place
    Split Pea Soup With Ham Mise En Place
  • Put oil into the inner pot and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the pepper, celery, and carrots.
    Split Pea Soup With Ham Carrots
  • Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic.
  • Add the ham hocks and ham. Arrange them so they fit in the pot.
    Split Pea Soup With Ham Ham Hocks
  • Add the peas.
    Split Pea Soup With Ham Peas
  • Cover the peas with water, being careful not to go over the maximum water line.
    Split Pea Soup With Ham Water
  • Cover the Instant Pot and set it for 50 minutes.
  • Use natural release.
  • Remove the ham and hocks from the pot. Take out the bones and fatty parts. Tear up the meat and set it aside.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the soup as much as you can.
  • Add the remaining seasonings and taste for seasoning.
  • Add the meat, stir well, and serve.


To make this for Vegan or Vegetarian, omit the ham hocks and the ham steak.  Add liquid smoke and paprika for seasoning.


Serving: 431gCalories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 22gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1006mgPotassium: 851mgFiber: 16gSugar: 6g
I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information on the-good-plate.com should only be used as a general guideline.
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!

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