30-Minute Pressure Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

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Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt
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Why It Works

  • The pressure cooker cuts the peas' cooking time in half, while adding more flavor.
  • Rapidly releasing the pressure causes the contents of the pressure cooker to vigorously boil, turning the soup creamy with no need for a blender.

The pressure cooker makes short work of pea soup, cooking the dried peas in half the time it would traditionally take and doing all the work of the blender as well. Rich, creamy comfort is just half an hour away.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 1 large rib celery, finely diced (about 4 ounces; 125g)
  • 6 ounces (170g) ham steak, diced (see note)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (450g) dried green split peas
  • 6 cups (1.5L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and ham and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

  2. Add peas, chicken stock or water, and bay leaves. Stir to combine, then cover pot and bring to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes, then rapidly release pressure by opening the air valve. Open pot lid, stir contents until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve. Carefully clean the pressure cooker's gasket and valves as soon as the pot is cool enough to handle; pea soup can easily clog valves, which can cause your cooker to over-pressurize the next time you use it. Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Special equipment

Electric countertop pressure cooker or stovetop pressure cooker (get our full review)

Notes

You can use a whole cured or smoked ham hock in place of the diced ham, or bacon or pancetta, if you prefer. If you use a hock, pick off the meat after cooking in step 2 and add it back to the soup, discarding the bone.

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