There are a couple dishes in our family that just scream tradition, and Split Pea & Ham soup is one of them. This tradition is brought to you by my father-in-law – split pea soup is his THING and my husband grew up with him always making it with leftover holiday ham. We unfortunately didn’t get his version this year because of last minute day-after-Christmas plans, but he DID send us home with a ton of leftover ham and I knew I had to create my own version.
CHOOSE YOUR COOKWARE
I made this soup in my Instant Pot, however you can absolutely make this in a stock pot or a Dutch oven. I made this during a short period in time where I was “in between” cookware pieces – I purged some old college-era cookware that I was still using and waiting on new ones to arrive in the mail, so the Instant Pot was all I had. That being said – you just want to make sure you pick something where you can sauté and then add the rest of your soup ingredients without having to transfer into another cooking vessel. Anything for one less dish to wash, right?
START WITH THE GOOD STUFF
Bacon. I know this is ham soup, using cubed ham, but Bacon is truly the star here. You’ll want to start with cooking your bacon over high heat, letting the fat render for a minute or two before adding in your mirepoix mix. Using bacon fat as your cooking oil is the absolute way to go, and adds SO MUCH flavor to whatever you are cooking. Getting all that bacon fat out to marinate and flavor your soup for the next 6 hours is just…*chef’s kiss*, it is a non-negotiable here. It’s a life rule – when you can, USE YOUR BACON FAT!
MAKE IT THICC
The rest of the recipe is quite easy – you really just dump and go. Let it sit for a looooong while and let it make your house smell divine. But it’s truly not the comfort food we know and love without some thickening. We have a toddler so I used the whole milk we have on hand, and we don’t have any gluten or wheat allergies, so I also used regular all-purpose flour for thickening. That being said – if you want to make this dairy-free, I would recommend using Nutpods (original unsweetened, of course), and if you want to make it gluten-free, I would look for a gluten-free flour (I believe Bob’s Red Mill makes one). I haven’t tried this with any sort of nut flour, so cannot attest to the texture and taste affects.
Split Pea & Ham Soup
- Pressure cooker
- Saute pan
- Stock Pot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 package mirepoix mix Can be found at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods
- 4-5 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 14 oz split peas 1 bag
- 4 cups ham, cubed
- 4 cups vegetable broth 1 box
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil
- Once the olive oil and pot are preheated, add the mirepoix mix and bacon and saute until soft and cooked, about 6-7 minutes
- Add salt and pepper, and stir to mix in evenly
- Add broth, water, split peas, and ham, and stir to mix evenly
- Lower the heat to low, and simmer for 6 hours, stirring occasionally
- With 30 minutes left, mix in the milk and flour and stir to thicken