*I updated this recipe on 12/6/2020. Enjoy!
I’ve finally landed on a split pea soup recipe that reminds me of the version my grandmother made for me. It has the texture, sweetness, saltiness, and slight smoky flavor that I remember. For my recipe, the smokiness comes from smoked paprika. Some folks like to add a ham bone to the soup for salt and flavor. Totally up to you. If you do add a ham bone, reduce the salt in this recipe by about 1 teaspoon to balance out the salt from the ham bone.
I tend to forget this, but split peas are different from the fresh peas that grow in the summer on a vine in a pod. They’re more comparable to lentils, both of which are legumes, and like lentils, split peas are dried for storage. The outer hull is removed and the peas are split in half along a natural seam. They come in either a yellow or green shade, and I use the green shade in this recipe. Green split peas are less starchy and milder in flavor. While split peas don’t require soaking because they’re split to speed up cooking, if you’re following SCD you must soak dried legumes.
I added a bouquet garni to this soup. A bouquet garni is a small bunch of fresh herbs wrapped in string, or in this case cheesecloth or a muslin bag to keep the herbs separated from the soup. You can also use a nut milk bag in a pinch. This allows you to infuse the soup with all those good flavors and scents without the leftover plant material (stems, leaves). For this soup I used fresh parsley, fresh thyme, and a bay leaf.
I made this in an Instant Pot, but you can make this soup in a large saucepan on a stove top as well. In step 4, bring the soup to a gentle boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes.
Split Pea Soup
- 1 1/2 cups split green peas soaked overnight if following SCD
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 5 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bouquet garni made up of a few thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, and a bay leaf see recipe notes
- salt and pepper to your taste
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the olive oil and onions. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or so.
- Add the carrots, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, sauté for a few more minutes.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the soup setting and add the water, smoked paprika, the rest of the salt (1 1/4 teaspoon) stir to blend all the ingredients, and cook the soup for 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Let the pressure out of the Instant Pot and let the soup cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Remove the bouquest garni, squeeze any soup out of it back into the pot, and discard it.