Vegetarian Lumberjack Soup
Updated: Aug 10
A quick and comforting Canadian-style yellow split pea soup recipe for busy wood-cutting days.
Here is a recipe inspired by the traditional nourishing dish that fed the first French Canadian settlers in the early colonization years. These days, the soup is mainly served in Sugar Shack brunches but people also like cooking the old, comforting dishes at home. This soup is made with yellow split peas and the flavour is characterized by the seasoning of Salted Preserved Herbs, or herb blends that include savoury. This simplified recipe is suitable for vegetarians and lower in fat than the ancestral dish (often associated with the old days of woodchoppers and logger men). Slow-cooked with salted lard or ham hock, this soup was made with seasonal supplies that last for a long winter like carrots, onions and whole yellow dried peas. During the colder months, my husband and I have this quick version of soup with yellow split peas, often as a week-days meal. It is economical and easy to make as it does not require soaking or pre-cook the split peas. This warm dish gives plenty of energy and nutrients, with the protein of the peas and the veggies, and it is much better than any canned soup. Since out in the bush, in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, most people have a fireplace as the primary home heater. Winters might not be as cold as the ones I know in Québec, but you’d be surprised how important the wood and fire aspect is to our life in Australia. We are all “home lumberjacks”, cutting and stacking wood and we want soup!
This recipe is published in ABC Organic Gardener Magazine issue #142 Winter 2023.