Pressure Cooker Yellow Split Pea Soup

Soupe Aux Pois Made Easy In The Pressure Cooker

Canadian Yellow Pea Soup1

I grew up not liking split pea soup at all. Now it seems I am making up for lost time. I recently posted a recipe for green split pea soup. That one was a thick, hearty, stand-a-spoon-up-in-it soup.

Shortly after that, during one of my marathon poking-around-the-interwebs sessions, I came across French-Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup.

At first I was intrigued, but a few minutes later I was obsessed. Since my heritage includes French-Canadian, I just had to prepare “the food of my people”. This is more of a medium-density soup. It is definitely not a broth, but it does have diminished spoon-standing capabilities.

Yellow Pea Soup Ingredients

I tried to be fairly true to tradition, but sometimes it’s not quite possible. For instance from what I have seen, this soup is usually made with whole dried peas, or a mixture of whole and split. I probably would have done this if I was able to track down the elusive whole dried yellow peas but I had no luck here in SoCal. Sure, I could have gone the internet route, but I had some good yellow split peas, so why wait for delivery and whatnot?

The recipe is easy, but a little more time consuming than some, just because it requires a simple ham stock to be made first. When I say the stock is simple, I mean simple. Just toss your choice of ham hock, ham shank or ham bone into twelve cups of water, cook at high pressure for 40 minutes and you’re in business.

Yellow Pea Soup Ham Shank

The stock can be made ahead of time, so things will be speedy when you make the actual soup.

After the stock is done cooking, let the meat cool. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discard bones and any large chunks of fat that are present. Then, chop up the meat.

Ham Meat Chopped


For the soup, get some butter melted in the pressure cooker pot and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until things start to soften a bit and onion is transparent.

Yellow Pea Soup Chopped Veggies

I think this is one of the few recipes where I don’t use at least five cloves of garlic, but it is not exactly a garlic-driven recipe. I think the most important flavor profile in this dish would be the savory. That’s the thing that makes it the most “Canadian-y”. A lot of recipes say that you could substitute thyme, but I would highly recommend tracking down some savory in order to get the full Canuck experience.

Butter Melting

Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute. Now add in the savory and a little salt and pepper. Don’t add too much salt at this point. Depending on the meat that you are using, you may not need a lot, you can add more later if it needs it.

Sauteed Veggies

Dump those peas in there, along with whatever meat you cut off those bones.

Pour in ten cups of the stock (you can add a cup or so less if you like it a little thicker, but I have found that ten cups is just about perfect for this. Sure, I specify twelve cups in the stock recipe because I like to have a little extra, just in case. As in almost every recipe I post, toss in a couple bay leaves.

Put the top on the cooker, turn heat to high and set the timer for eight minutes. Remember, when cooking legumes in the pressure cooker, never fill the pot of the pressure cooker over half full.

Yellow Pea Soup Finished

When the time is up, turn heat off and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

I like to serve it with toasted baguette with bleu cheese (not traditional, but tasty).

Pressure Cooker Yellow Split Pea Soup
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Canadian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5 large servings
French-Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup Adapted for the Pressure Cooker
For The Ham Stock
  • 1.5 -2 pounds ham shank or hocks, or hambone
  • 12 cups water
For The Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped small
  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons savory
  • 1 pound yellow split peas, picked through and rinsed
  • Chopped meat from shank/hock/ham bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups ham stock
Make The Ham Stock
  1. Put The Shank/Hocks/Hambone in the pressure cooker with 12 cups of water
  2. Put lid on pressure cooker
  3. Turn heat to high until high pressure is reached
  4. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  5. Set time for 40 minutes
  6. When time is up, let pressure come down naturally for ten minutes then do a quick release
  7. Remove the meat to a plate to let it cool
  8. When meat is cool enough, cut from bone and chop
  9. Stock and meat can be made ahead and saved for a day or two in the refrigerator
Make the soup
  1. Put the butter in the pressure cooker over medium heat
  2. When butter is melted, sauté onions, carrot and celery until onions are translucent
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Add the savory and a little salt and pepper (you can add more salt later if necessary, it may not need much depending on the meat).
  5. Add the peas and meat
  6. Pour in 10 cups of the ham stock (can use a little less if you would like it thicker)
  7. Toss in the bay leaves
  8. Put the cover on the pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  9. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  10. Set time for eight minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat
  12. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed
  14. Serve in bowls with toasted baguette on the side (I like it with bleu cheese)

Pressure Cooker Bean Chard Soup

A Hearty, Slightly Tuscan Influenced Bean Soup


It wasn’t my intention to take a brief hiatus from this blog, but with having gotten married in December, then the holidays sneaking up on me, before I knew it, here we are in 2014 and I didn’t even post any awesome holiday recipes! But finally things are settling down a bit, so here is a recipe for a nice, warming winter soup.


The problem with winter soups where I live (particularly this winter), is that when you do your shopping and when you prepare the meals can be like two entirely different seasons. For instance, when I bought these ingredients on a Sunday, temperatures were in the mid-fifties F. On Tuesday when I prepared this dish, it was 85 degrees during the day, but had at least cooled down some by the time I got home from work. But it still was quite good, even though something in the salad family may have been more appropriate.


There is a lot of room for improvising in this recipe. I have made it with pinto beans and kale, rather than white beans and chard, and both turned out tasty.

It is important to soak the beans for this recipe, just so everything can cook in the same time frame. If you don’t have time, or if you forget to soak the beans you can use this quick-soak method.

Also, I should probably add that I am using smoked ham shanks for this. That’s all that is available around here, but I am told that fresh ones are also available in some places. The smoked ones are basically already cooked, so work well with this timing. The twelve minutes plus the natural release time seem to work fine. Fresh would take much longer cooking time.


You could also use your favorite Italian seasoning rather than the individual herbs, but for recipe purposes I usually like to list individual herbs and spices since folks are more likely to have the individual items on hand.


Also, two ham hocks or shanks would be plenty for this, but I was only able to find packs of three and didn’t want to waste any. I have also used salt pork with good results. And if you would like to make it a bit more italian, pancetta would work quite well, though I haven’t had a chance to try that yet.

This could easily be made into a vegetarian/vegan dish also, but I would recommend adding a little liquid smoke or substituting the tomatoes with fire-roasted tomatoes just to keep a little smokiness in the dish.


If you have a cooker smaller than 7 liters (7.4 quarts), you will need to cut the recipe in half. I have the 7-liter Kuhn Rikon and this comes right up to the maximum fill line (2/3 full).

I have used Kale in a bag to make this recipe even quicker, but I have to say I prefer the chard. Collard greens would work as well. Any fairly sturdy green should work, though I don’t think spinach would hold up too well for the 12-minute cooking time, but I haven’t tried it, so what do I know?


If you try it, let me know how it turns out and any changes you might have tried.

Pressure Cooker Bean Chard Soup
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
A hearty, Tuscan influenced soup. A quick weekday meal, perfect for the winter months.
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 2-3 smoked ham shanks or hocks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 package (16 oz.) small white beans, soaked overnight (or use the quick-soak method)
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. fennel
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 package (32 oz.) broth (I used vegetable, but chicken or beef would work)
  • 1 package (26 oz.) tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large bunch chard (stems removed, cleaned and chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro (for topping)
  1. Heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add pork shanks and brown lightly
  3. Add in the onion and carrot and saute until onions are translucent
  4. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two
  5. Add the basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, red pepper flakes and mustard powder
  6. Stir to coat the vegetables and meat
  7. Add in the tomatoes, broth, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, honey and bay leaves and stir
  8. Add in the beans
  9. Add the water
  10. Add some salt and pepper according to your preference
  11. Put in the chard on top of beans (you may have to stir for a minute or so until the chard starts to wilt a little so that you don't go over the maximum fill line)
  12. Put cover on pressure cooker and turn heat to high until high pressure is reached
  13. When pressure is reached, turn down heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 12 minutes
  14. When timer sounds, remove from heat. Let pressure come down naturally.
  15. I usually remove the hocks, let cool slightly and remove the meat from the bones, then stir the meat back into the soup.
  16. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan and cilantro