Split Pea Soup was my favorite soup when I was a child and is still my favorite soup years later. My mom would make it using the ham bone from Christmas dinner. Through the years, I’ve made my own split pea soup, I but I have discovered that it’s way more flavorful with smoked sausage than ham.
Ingredients: Here’s What You’ll Need
The sausage that I use is Conecuh smoked sausage. Unlike other sausages, such as Kielbasa, this sausage must be cooked before being using it in a dish. Part of the reason for cooking it is to get rid of most of the fat. Cooking the sausage is a bit time-consuming but well worth it!
The other ingredients that I use in this Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage are split green peas, onions, celery, salt, dried thyme, black pepper, water, and chicken broth.
Because I make the soup in my pressure cooker, I don’t find it necessary to soak the peas overnight. However, I do rinse them well and let them drain.
Steps to Making the Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage
- First, I sliced the sausage to about ¼-inch and cooked it over medium heat in my pressure cooker.
- After the sausage was fully cooked, I drained it well on paper towels and used extra paper towels to remove as much grease as possible. I poured the fat from the pan and quickly wiped the inside with paper towels.
- Then, I added the onions and celery to the pan and cooked them over medium heat for about five minutes.
The liquid that was given off by the onions and celery helped to loosen a lot of the “fond” or little bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Next, I added the cooked sausage, salt, pepper, and thyme and stirred to combine everything.
- Finally, I added the split peas, water, and chicken broth.
- After giving the soup a good stir, I secured the top of the pressure cooker and turned the heat up to high until full pressure was achieved.
Once full pressure was reached, I reduced the heat to low to maintain the pressure and cooked the soup for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, I removed the pan from the heat and let it depressurize naturally.
When I removed the top of the pressure cooker, the soup didn’t look very appetizing because the solids were at the bottom, and the liquids were on top.
Finishing the Split Pea Soup
Not to worry. I used the immersion blender and gave the mixture a quick blend. I was careful not to overmix the soup because I wanted the sausage pieces to remain whole.
I served the soup with a light salad and freshly baked biscuits. The soup was amazing. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Even with the sausage, this soup is relatively healthy. It has 27 grams of protein and 19 grams of fiber in just one serving. In addition, split peas are a great source of folate, iron, and potassium.
Feel free to use an instant pot to make this delicious recipe. First, cook the sausage on the sauté function. When the sausage is done, remove it from the Instant Pot and drain well. Next, pour out the grease and add the soup ingredients to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, close the valve, and set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow the pan to depressurize naturally.
If you’d like low and slow cooking for this recipe, use your slow cooker. After cooking the sausage and removing as much grease as possible, place the dried split peas, cooked sausage, onions, celery, salt, pepper, and thyme in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in the chicken broth and water and stir everything together. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours until peas are tender and broken down.
You can make the split pea soup on the stovetop. It will just need to cook longer for the vegetables to become tender, an hour to an hour and a half, covered.
Split pea soup is often made with ham. Ham can therefore be substituted for sausage. My experience, however, suggests that the ham adds little flavor to the soup. On the other hand, the smoked sausage adds a ton of flavor.
Legumes such as split peas are natural thickeners because of the starches. As the soup cools, the starches form a mesh, and the soup thickens. Not to worry. When reheating the soup, add some water or chicken broth to achieve your desired consistency.
Tips and Tricks
- It is not necessary to soak the split peas before using them in this recipe. The heat from the pressure cooker works well to break the peas down.
- Even though soaking the split peas is unnecessary, you may want to take the extra step to minimize the gas effect from the soup. Like other legumes, split peas contain a compound called phytic acid which can make you gassy—soaking the peas overnight and rinsing them well before cooking helps to minimize the phytic acid in the final soup.
- This delicious soup is just as tasty when refrigerated and reheated. However, because the soup thickens as it cools, you will probably need to add some extra water or chicken broth to thin the soup as it reheats.
- I often freeze leftover split pea soup in individual containers and vacuum seal the frozen soup. It keeps for several months in the freezer, and I like having a single serving on hand when the mood strikes.
Other Awesome Soup Recipes
If you like this recipe, you should check out some of my other excellent soups:
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Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage (Pressure Cooker)
- 1 pound (16 ounces) smoked sausage sliced thin (See Tip 1)
- 1 pound (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
- 1 large onion chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 ribs of celery chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups water (See Tip 2)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Cook the sausage in a large pressure cooker. Remove the cooked sausage and drain well on paper towels. Pour all of the fat from the pressure cooker and wipe it down with paper towels.
- Add the onion and celery to the pressure cooker, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to loosen the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked sausage, salt, thyme, pepper, and water. Continue stirring to loosen the browned bits. nd
- Add the rinsed split peas and chicken broth. Stir well to combine.
- Lock the lid of the pressure cooker in place. Over high heat, bring the pot to the highest pressure. Reduce the heat to medium-low (enough heat to maintain the high pressure) and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the lid; stir well, taking care to blend in the peas and other ingredients that have sunk to the bottom of the pan. Correct the seasonings. If desired, use an immersion blender to further blend the soup.
- Yield: 6 servings. (See Tips 3 and 4)
- May use 2 cups of diced ham in place of the smoked sausage. If using ham, combine the ham, onions, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes and proceed as above.
- For a richer flavor, 8 cups of chicken broth in place of the water and chicken broth.
- May also use the Instant Pot to make this awesome soup.
- This soup tends to thicken quite a bit as it cools. If desired, add additional water or chicken broth to achieve the desired consistency. Also, the leftovers are delicious!