This Turkish-inspired Instant Pot split pea soup (or stew) is seriously delicious and filling. Made in a pressure cooker, it’s a quick and easy vegan and gluten-free recipe.
This gorgeous split pea soup (or a thin stew) is adapted from a classic Turkish lentil soup, also known as Mercimek Çorbası. It’s a simple, rich and nutritious soup that is full of warm, aromatic spices and flavours that will get you asking for seconds.
INSTANT POT SPLIT PEA SOUP INGREDIENTS
Made with yellow split peas, this vegan and gluten-free friendly stew is ridiculously easy and quick when made in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. It’s very healthy and has veggies like carrots, celery and onions, as well as tinned tomatoes. Split peas or lentils are a great source for plant-based protein and to make this meal into a complete protein with all amino acids, all you need is a slice of sourdough or other bread on the side.
Which type of split peas to use?
I used yellow split peas in this recipe but green split peas or any type of lentils will work just as well in this dish. You can pre-soak the split peas for a few hours in warm salted water, which helps to make legumes a little easier to digest. For speed sake, I simply rinsed the split peas really well under cold water. The cooking times below are for unsoaked but rinsed split peas.
Stock or broth
I used water and vegetable stock cubes but you are welcome to use pre-made stock or even broth. I like this dish as a thick soup/stew consistency but if you prefer a slightly thinner soup-like dish, add a little more stock to the pot. Some people like to puree a lentil or split pea soup, but I love it just as is so I can see some of those beautiful veggies and tomatoes Plus, you get a bit more fibre that way.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT SPLIT PEA SOUP
Whether you use split peas or lentils for this soup, the steps and the cooking times are about the same. Once cooked, you can serve the soup with a dollop of yoghurt of choice.
Step 1. Saute the veggies in olive oil.
Step 2. Pop the rest of the ingredients in and stir.
Step 3. Close the lid and pressure cook on HIGH for 10 minutes with 5 minutes natural pressure release.
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
Turkish Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Turkish
This Turkish-inspired Instant Pot split pea soup (or stew) is seriously delicious and filling. Made with yellow split peas in a pressure cooker, it’s a quick and easy vegan and gluten-free dish.
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced into small cubes
- 1 celery stick, diced into cubes
- 4–5 cloves garlic, diced finely
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
- 2 cups yellow split peas (rinsed well)
- 1/2 cup chopped tinned tomatoes
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1.75 L vegetable stock ( I used 7 x 250 ml cups + 3 vegetable stock cubes)
- To serve: chopped chives or scallions, extra lemon and yoghurt (optional)
- Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add the olive oil, onion, carrot and celery and cook for 4 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cancel the Sauté function by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button.
- Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual (High Pressure) and adjust to 10 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
- Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release for 4-5 minutes and then use the quick release method before opening the lid.
- Serve with chopped chives or scallions and extra lemon on the side. A dollop of full-fat natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (or other vegan option) is gorgeous when stirred in.
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 389
- Sugar: 13.8 g
- Sodium: 1297.4 mg
- Fat: 6.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 64.8 g
- Fiber: 22.5 g
- Protein: 21.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Tastes amazing but I must have done something wrong as there was too much water/broth at the end. Is it really 1.75 liters? Anyone else have this issue?
Not sure if perhaps the amount of lentils/veggies was slightly off compared to what we had? This is the correct amount as far as we tested.
I also followed the recipe exactly using the 7 (250ml) of water and it does not look as thick as the picture. Still delicious but next time I think I will try 5 cups of water.
I made this today. 15 minutes start to finish for prep in the morning and we just let the instapot come down naturally all morning to have a hot lunch ready when we were. I doubled the veggies, omitted the cayenne (one kid hates super hot food, dang it!) and bay leaf. I waited until the end of the cycle to put in the can of tomatoes and the lemon juice. I had less than a liter of veggie stock on hand, so dumped that in and made up the difference with another pint of water. EVERYONE liked this: Hubby who is on low-carb (evidently fiber does not count as a carb), vegetarian anti-hot-spice daughter and 14 year old grandson. The soup has a refreshing light taste, despite the complex spices and we could all taste the hint of cinnamon. We liked the extra tomatoes, and the color of the extra tomatoes in the very yellow soup was gorgeous. I have spent years looking for a good way to use yellow split peas. Everyone said this should be on the menu often. Thanks for the recipe.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback.
Acidic ingredients (lemon, tomatoes, etc) can make legumes toughen up and take longer to cook, so be prepared to cook longer or add those after the pressure cooking has ended and simmer for a bit after adding. https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-cook-with-dried-beans-913411
This is one of my outright favorite split-pea soups… second time making it. I cook salt-oil-sugar (SOS) free so I water-sautéed the carrots, onions and garlic and left out the sour cream to keep it whole-food vegan… it comes out wonderful! Red potatoes are a great addition and my best-wife who adds corn to any soup or stew stayed true to form
I absolutely loved the arsenal of spices in this one,. Cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, cumin, spices I do not get to used very often all at once.
I got a more diluted version of what may’ve been meant to be more of a lentil chili. I think it was the liters to cups conversion I performed quickly.
And I do believe I like lentils more than split yellow peas. I want to say lentils taste heartier?
Anyways, great flavors, very filling.
I’ve made this many times in an old-fashioned pressure cooker and it’s so good. Adding potato based on comments for traditional ingredients.
Red lentils cook much faster than split peas! Perhaps if the peas are soaked overnight the cook time for this is more accurate.
This is sooooo good and very easy! So glad I tried it!!
Thanks, Debra. Hope you make it again soon 🙂
Fantastic way to to use split peas! Love the Turkish type soups, great spices! Thank you
Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂
This was delicious! I usually adjust flavor quite a bit by adding more spices and things, but on this one I just added a little pepper when serving. I didn’t have lemon so added apple cider vinegar once the pressure released. Very refreshing and a light meal. Mmm!
YUMMY soup! I was surprised that the recipe called for 4 minutes so I changed it to 10. I also used less split pea but next time I do 2 cups and probably a few more veggies
In Turkey they use red lentils, add a potato, tomato or pepper paste and blend it afterwards. Good comfort food.
Can you do this in a slow cooker instead of an instant pot? Obviously increasing the timings – or will it just turn into a big mushy mess?
Yes, it can be done on the stove or in a slow cooker. Slow cooker would be HIGH for 4-6 hours.
Used green split peas, doubled the veggies, quadrupled the spices except cayenne, whole can of tomatoes, used water instead of stock, no oil, no salt, and did 13 minutes with slow release and it came out great! Thank you!
Thanks for this- because I have green split peas on hand, and was wondering if I might need more spices to stand up to the assertiveness of the green pea flavor.
Delicious recipe. Had to make some modifications though. I soaked two cups of yellow split peas for several hours and had a LOT of peas. Used yams instead of carrots and put a quart of veggie stock in which wasn’t enough. Cooked on high for 25 minutes and peas were still – well, chewy. Added two cups more water and restarted the Instant Pot for 40 minutes. Turned out perfect. Just the right amount of liquid. Oh, I also used the full can of tomatoes also.
Maybe it’s because I used homemade, unsalted broth, but this came out bland. I increased the tomatoes, garlic, veggies, and all the seasonings to try to account for my unseasoned broth, and I added parsley at the end. I’d make it again, cause it’s healthy and the texture is good, but I’d probably quadruple the spices next time (except the salt, maybe just double that) and use the juice of a whole lemon. I used less liquid than the recipe called for, about 6 cups (including broth and the tomatoes), and I like the thick texture
I was searching for recipes for yellow split peas and came upon this. While it looks like a delicious recipe and I’ll probably make it, I have to point out that the recipe is not Turkish. Mercimek çorbası is made with red lentils, no veggies, no broth. Just a roux of flour and butter, water, red lentils, and salt with lemon juice added at the end to taste. Otherwise, it looks delicious!
This tastes really good but I’m having the same issue as a few others, with undercooked kind of crunchy split peas. I used half green, half yellow. Followed instructions and they were really crunchy, so pressure cooked for another 7 minutes and let it sit for a bit. Now edible but still crunchy instead of that nice dissolving texture I’m used to. Anyone have any solutions? Cook longer? or take an immersion blender to it?
If you want a more smooth texture, I would use an immersion blender. Our version has a bit more texture and crunch to it. I am not sure if perhaps the green split peas need more cooking time? Also, make sure the pressure was set to HIGH (just in case). Otherwise, if 7 more minutes worked for you, stick with that.
This is the best thing I’ve eaten in ages. My taste buds are in deliciousness overload. Seriously… wow.
Thank you so much 🙂
Could you do this in a crock pot? 🙂
Yes, absolutely. Maybe 10 hours on LOW, 6-8 on Medium and 4 on HIGH.
If you’re using a normal saucepan how long does it need to cook for?
About 40-45 minutes on medium heat.
Was going to make traditional split pea soup until I found this recipe and decided to try it – it’s a keeper! Thanks for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed it, Rebecca 🙂
Am I reading the recipe wrong? Is it 1.75 liters or 7 standard cooking cups of liquid? 1.75 liters vegetable stock was waaaaay too much liquid. Runny and not flavorful. Even leaving it on the stove to simmer for another 30 minutes didn’t cook it down enough to save it. Sad since others seemed to have a better outcome.!
Hey V, yes, 7 cups (250 ml) for the liquid. What measuring cups did you use? I believe U.S. ones a bit smaller, so perhaps if you had less lentils/split peas for the 1.75l of liquid, then maybe that is the reason. Sorry, it didn’t work for you as well as for others.
This soup is a MAJOR winner !!! I used green split peas instead of yellow because that is what I had in house and only used 2 teaspoons of olive oil to sauté and it came out sooo yummy. This one is a definite keeper, thank you !
Maria, I’m so glad you liked it and that your improvisation worked fabulously!
Enjoyed this! 10 minutes was not sufficient so I pressured cooked it for an additional 6, probably could have done 7-8 minutes. Other modifications: used a full 14oz can of tomatoes (~1.5 cups), used the juice from a full lemon, doubled the cumin and cayenne pepper, and added 3 cups of chopped baby spinach after pressure cooking was complete. The latter because I love sneaking in extra veggies in my soup!
Sabrina, I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for your input – hopefully someone else finds it helpful. I LOVE your addition of extra greens. It’s great to sneak in some additional nutrients. Spinach you just can’t go wrong with.
Oh this was so good! I used chicken broth in place of veggie broth, and added a full 14 oz can of chopped canned tomatoes.
Will certainly recommend this recipe and make it again. Yum!
Thanks Lisa, happy you enjoyed the this. Extra chopped tomatoes are always a good addition 🙂
This was my second recipe in my instant pot. When it was done cooking I thought it looked much thicker than the picture so I started reading through the comments and realized I had used 1.75 CUPS instead of liters. Even thick it is absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely try this again with the correct amount of liquid.
I can see it working as a thick stew too, glad it still worked out for you. It was probably even more flavoursome that way 🙂
My Mum makes something very similar, but with a cup of dried apricots thrown in halfway through(obviously not in a pressure cooker).
So how many cups of broth should we use? 7 cups is it? Looks great. Must try this!
Delicious! Super great for cold wintery nights! I had to Pressure cook it a second time as the peas were still pretty hard after the first 10 minutes. I would assume soaking them would have helped break down the peas? My Scandinavian mother-in-law makes a beauty pea-soup. The spices in this recipe though add a new twist! 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it! Perhaps just let it naturally release for 2-3 minutes next time, or soak the legumes.
I made this last night. It was super easy, and delicious! So flavorful and filling. Definitely a winner that will be added to my monthly rotation of Instant Pot recipes. Thank you for a fantastic whole food plant based recipe!!
So happy you enjoyed it!
The flavours of this were delicious, but my soup turned out very thin. I used green split peas instead of yellow, would that have made a difference? They were also a bit old, maybe that was the issue. It tasted great though. I blitzed it with an immersion blender and added 1/2 c of cooked wild rice blend to each bowl before serving.
It could have made a small difference as green split peas are a bit different from lentils. I notice some of my recipes in the IP come out thin, but if I leave them to sit warm in the pot for 30-60 minutes afterwards, it gets thicker. I also sometimes add some tapioca starch or something similar to thicken it up. I’m glad you enjoyed it and found a way to fill it out.
This was wonderful! I don’t always have luck with following Instant Pot recipes online, but this was so lovely. Thanks for this!
My lentils came out more mushy, almost like a puree, though. Any thoughts on why? I followed your instructions exactly.
Did you soak them ahead of time? My lentils cook more thoroughly if they’re soaked prior to cooking. With a stew, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have them come out more mushy to thicken it up.
Really good recipe, tasty and easy. I added a potato which was a hit. Will make this a lot.
Thanks Andrew 🙂 Great idea to add the potatoes for some extra veggies.
I found it way to liquid/runny. Like a thin soup nowna stoup or stew
For a more stew-like texture, you can add a bit less liquid. I generally let mine sit in the pot for awhile and let some of the liquid evaporate before serving, as you need a fair amount of liquid to cook, but don’t always want it for the final product.
Way too much liquid. 1.75 liters to cups? I used 7 cups of vegetable stock. Smells wonderful though!
That’s how much we used as the split peas expand and absorb the liquid during cooking. Or do you mean it was too liquidy/thin for you after cooking?
This was the first recipe my wife and I cooked in an Instant Pot. This recipe is very flavorful. Following your instructions the vegetables, including the split peas, turned out with the right texture and not mushy. Overall, the recipe was delicious.
Thanks Keith! It’s been getting great feedback, so that makes me happy 🙂
Thank you for this recipe, love it! I think I will add double the veggies next time as I really love them and this is a perfect dish for adding more!
Glad you enjoyed it! It’s a popular recipe on our blog.
This was insanely delicious!! So happy to have discovered this recipe. I did add 2 tsp liquid smoke; really enhanced the flavor :-).
Thank you Shari! I love your idea of adding some liquid smoke. I can imagine in my mind that it would taste really good. Smoked paprika or smoked chipotle chilli would probably also work 🙂
I did love the recipe! I will be making split pea soup more often now. But I feel like I have to mention this here. I wonder if you aware that liquid smoke is carcinogenic and it’s better to be avoided.
I don’t believe we use any liquid smoke in this recipe. I am not sure what the context for the mention is but thanks anyway 🙂
You’d have to pretty much “mainline” that liquid smoke for it to be harmful. From nutritionfacts.org: “…The recommended daily upper safety limit for these carcinogens is 47. Hickory smoke flavoring has only 0.8 per teaspoon, so we’d have to drink three bottles a day to bump up against the limit. And mesquite liquid smoke has only 1.1.”
Thanks for the flavor tip. I’m adding it.
Grety, thanks for clarifying the harm or lack thereof of liquid smoke. It certainly adds another (awesome) layer of flavour, and we would never recommend harmful foods on our blog. Our aim is to create both healthy and delicious dishes for folks to make in their IP!