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
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Canadian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5 large servings
French-Canadian Yellow Split Pea Soup Adapted for the Pressure Cooker
Ingredients
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
Instructions
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 Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup? He likes it, Hey Mikey! 

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When I was a youngster, probably my least favorite thing to eat was split pea soup. I absolutely hated it. Just the thought of it brought visions of the Exorcist. No, the movie wasn’t even out yet. I mean the actual exorcist. I wasn’t a very well-behaved kid so my parents brought in an exorcist once a month to give me a “tune up”. Not really, I kid, I kid!

But seriously, I couldn’t stand split pea soup, but I had never eaten a homemade version. It was always from a can. On a good day, it might be from the familiar red and white can, which was only slightly less disgusting. But most of the time it was the dreaded “store brand”, words that send shivers down my spine.

Split Pea Ingredients

Then one day recently, while watching one of the many cooking shows that I watch, or “my stories” as I refer to them, I saw a recipe for split pea soup, and thought “hmmmm, that looks pretty good”, (I think it was this recipe) so I decided to set aside my former opinion and give it a shot.

My opinion has completely changed. I am sure that if you were to set a bowl of that grayish mush from a can in front of me, I would still hate it, but now I know that, as with most things, there are good versions and bad versions. And I like to believe that this is a good version.

Remember that when cooking any grain or legume in the pressure cooker, never fill it over 1/2 full.

Veggies Chopped

Start by chopping up some onion, celery, carrots, garlic and ham. I only had two celery stalks in the ingredients picture, but I decided to add another at the last minute.

Heat up some oil and sauté the onion, celery carrot and ham for about five minutes or so, until the onion starts to become translucent.

Ham and Veggies

Add in the garlic and continue for another minute or so.

Now toss in the Herbes De Provence, cayenne and a little salt and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the peas.

Peas Veggies Ham

Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chicken stock and water.

Toss the Bay Leaves in, cover the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high.

When high pressure is reached, lower the heat to maintain high pressure and set the timer for fifteen minutes.

Soup Finished

When time is up. let the pressure come down on its own.

When pressure is released, open pressure cooker very carefully.

Give it a stir to break up the peas.

Serve it with toppings of your choice. A little cubed ham, some Feta cheese. And I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought onion rings would go great with this. So the next day, I served the leftovers with onion rings on the side and topped each bowl with an onion ring. And it turned out my hunch was right, they went great together!

Split Pea Soup Bowl

As an added bonus, this is a perfect way to use up that leftover Easter ham!

Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5-6 servings
A great way to use that leftover Easter ham, this flavorful and filling soup is perfect for cooler weather.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 16 ounces split peas, rinsed
  • 1 pound ham, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Herbes De Provence
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat
  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and ham until onions start to become translucent, about five minutes
  3. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Add Herbes De Provence, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper
  5. Sauté for another 30 seconds or so
  6. Add the peas
  7. Add in the Worcestershire Sauce, liquid smoke, chicken stock and water
  8. Toss in the bay leaves
  9. Cover pressure cooker, turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for fifteen minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure release naturally
  12. Remove lid carefully
  13. Stir to break up peas, soup should thicken
  14. Serve in bowls with toppings of your choice. I like it with a little Feta or Cotija cheese, or with an onion ring on top