Split pea soup is one of my absolute favorite soups. Thinking back though, I’m sure I’ve said that about every soup that’s on this blog. I mean it this time – for reals. No, really!
I actually only have split pea soup a few times a year because, well, I guess I’m a bit of a split pea soup snob. It’s only when I have a ham bone that I’ll make it – it just puts it over the top.
I have made it with just chopped ham – still delicious. I have made it with Boar’s Head deli ham, sliced 1″ thick – yep, still delicious. But there’s something about that smoky ham bone.
Don’t feel you need the ham bone. You don’t. But if you get your hands on one, don’t delay, get it in the pot with the split peas. And I mean pronto! You can get a ham bone at the The Honey Baked Ham Company. They are amazing in any soup and collard greens, but beware. Every bone that I have bought from there were colossal!
If you are not using a ham bone, I would go with 2 cups chopped ham, just to give it that hammy flavor. If I’m using a ham bone, I stick with 1 cup chopped ham because there’s ham on the bone. Up to you. If you just love ham, use the bone and 2 cups chopped ham!
Oh hey Columbo – just one more thing … the saffron. Don’t go out and buy saffron for this soup. If you don’t have it, forget about it. It’s not gonna make or break this soup. If I have it, I add it in, if not oh well. Just a pinch though, and I crush it in my palm before I add it in. But I realize that may not be in everyone’s pantry and I don’t want you to click off because of the word saffron.
Go forth my friends and make the best split pea soup of your life!!!
Split Pea Soup
- 1 pound split peas, green or yellow, rinsed and sorted
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 meaty hambone
- 1-2 cups small diced ham use 2 cups if not using hambone or your hambone has no meat on it
- 1 small potato, diced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- pinch cayenne, or more for more heat
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley, chopped, for garnish at the end (optional)
Set your Instant Pot/pressure cooker to saute. Add butter to the pot. When melted, add in the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook, 5-8 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Turn the pot off. Add in all other ingredients. Pressure ON HIGH for 15 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes. Release the remaining pressure. Stir well, taste for more seasoning. Enjoy!
In a large pot heat the butter over medium-high heat. When melted, add in the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook until they begin to soften.
Add in all other ingredients except the diced potato and parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the diced potato, stir and cook 30 more minutes or until the peas have broken down and the potatoes are tender.
Turn the heat off and remove the ham bone. Stir in the parsley, if using. When cool, remove the meat from the bone and add to the soup. Stir. Enjoy!