Warming Pea Soup
Updated: Feb 3
Comforting Canadian-style pea soup for busy “home lumberjacks”.
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 mostly served in Sugar Shack dining venues 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 includes savory. My adapted and simplified recipe is vegetarian and a lower in fat version than the ancient dish (often associated with the old days wood choppers and logger men) that was slow cooked with salted lard, ham hock, or any type of ham. These were part of the winter supply to last a long winter. When winter comes, my husband and I, part-time vegetarians or what is now called “flexitarians”, have this soup often as a week-days meal. I also love the fact that it is quick to make (no need to soak or pre-cook split peas), and economical. This warm dish gives plenty of energy and nutrients, with the protein of the peas and the veggies filling the belly to do some regular winter chores like cutting and stacking wood. Which is great, since out in the bush, in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, most people have a fire-place as the main 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”, and we want soup!
Canadian shack-style lumberjack pea soup • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021
2-3 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup yellow split peas
4 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp homemade Salted Preserved Herbs (or pinch salt mixed with culinary herbs)
Pinch of pepper
PREPARATION: In a medium saucepan, brown onions in oil.
Add the carrot, celery and garlic and stir for a few minutes.
Add peas and pour the stock in, mix well.
Season and bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.