Soupe au Pois (French Canadian Split Pea Soup)

It’s interesting how when someone you love leaves this world, all you want to do is pay homage to them in any way you can. As always, my way in through food. Lately, I’ve been pouring over any traditional French Canadian recipe I can get my hands on, to honour my Grandmaman. This one was one of her favourites: Traditional French Canadian Split Pea Soup, or, as we all call around here – Soupe au Pois. It’s very simple to make, and makes my heart ache at the memories of cold winter afternoons spent with my Grandmaman eating soup.


Start with an onion and some butter. Dice the onion up.DSC03795And cook it down in your soup pot to release all the aromatic flavours.

DSC03796Next, take a ham bone,

DSC03797and some split green peas and a lot of water

DSC03798and throw it all into a pot with the onions. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the peas are nice and soft.

DSC03800This soup brings back many memories. It’s a hearty, delicious winter soup!

Grandmaman’s Soupe of Pois (Courtesy of Crumb)

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 lb dried yellow split peas
  • 1 smoked ham hock (~ 1 lb)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried savoury
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a very large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, sweat the onions in butter for 5-7 minute, or until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in water, split peas, ham hock, bay leaves, thyme and savoury. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 2½ to 3 hours, or until the peas are soft and begin to fall apart into a puree.
  3. Remove the ham hock. Pull the meat away from the bone, and shred or chop into small dice. Set ham aside, and discard the bone. Remove bay leaves and discard these as well.
  4. Taste soup, and adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. For a very smooth soup, use an immersion blender to puree completely, or leave as-is for a chunkier texture. Stir chopped ham back into the soup, and serve immediately. Enjoy with find memories.

3 Comments on “Soupe au Pois (French Canadian Split Pea Soup)”

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  3. […] explored some traditional French Canadian recipes, including Tourtiere, Cretons, Tarte au Sucre and Soupe au Pois (Pea Soup). As part of Ukranian heritage, I explored making homemade perogies with my Baba, (that […]

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