Slow Food Sundays, Soups & Stews
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French-Canadian Split Pea Soup (Soupe aux Pois)

A bowl of a good ole Québécois-style French-Canadian split pea soup is pure comfort food – it’s typically made from made with either green or yellow split peas and it can be pureed smooth or left quite chunky. High in protein and low in fat, most of the calories come from protein and complex carbohydrates. Split peas contain some of the highest amounts of fiber, which is why it makes you feel so full and satisfied.

Split pea soup (Soupe aux Pois) makes for a perfect warm, filling, hearty and healthy choice for lunch or dinner. It’s possible to make a vegetarian version of this French Canadian classic, but in my opinion a good-sized meaty ham bone is essential to giving the soup a deep, rich, smoky flavor. Make lots of it, ‘cause you’ll want to squirrel away extra portions in the freezer for a rainy day!

This is my uncle Cec’s traditional green & yellow split pea soup recipe, it’s absolutely delicious and will make you wonder why you never gave split pea soup a try sooner…be prepared, this soup takes some time to prepare, but it’s definitely worth it’s wait!

12 Servings

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1- 1/12 hours

8 cups water (2 liters)
1 large ham bone (or smoked ham hocks), plus more diced ham meat, if desired
1 cup green dried split peas, rinsed
1 cup yellow dried split peas, rinsed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large celery ribs, plus leaves, chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch allspice

1. In a large cooking pot, add the water and peas.

2. Bring to boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour.

3. Return to the stove and bring the soup to a boil over high heat.

4. Add the ham bone, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaf, beef bouillon, salt, pepper and thyme.

5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

6. Remove the ham bone, when cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bone. Cut meat into bite size pieces and set aside; discard the bone.

7. Remove the bay leaves, taste and adjust seasoning.

8. For a smooth soup, use a hand-held blender or puree in batches using a food processor or blender until smooth. If necessary, add more water until it reaches the desired consistency.

9. Stir chopped ham back into the soup, and serve hot.


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