Chesterman: Soupe aux Pois (Pea Soup) Recipe

Dining critic Lesley Chesterman can be heard every Wednesday morning at 7:10 A.M. on CHOM 97 7 in Montreal.

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.

If you can’t go to the sugar shack, bring the sugar shack to you! 

The best pea soup I ever had was the one at the @cabaneaupieddecochon and the @cabanedacote where it’s served with pieces of foie gras. If you have foie gras handy, forget the ham here and add cubes of it in the serving bowl before you pour in the soup like they do at Au Pied de Cochon. It’s crazy delicious. 

Soupe aux Pois (Pea Soup)
for 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dried yellow split peas or mixed split peas for soup
  • 5 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock + 5 cups water OR 10 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory (if you like it)
  • 1 large branch fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper to taste
  • 250g (about 2 cups) diced country ham
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for serving

Lesley Chesterman


In large Dutch oven melt the butter over medium-high heat then add the carrots, celery and onion. Reduce heat to medium, stir until softened, add the garlic and cook until the onions just start to take on a golden hue, about 8 minutes in all.

Stir in the split peas along with the stock and 4 cups of water (or 9 cups of water), add bay leaves, savory, thyme, salt & pepper. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook one hour, stirring every so often.

Lesley Chesterman

Stir in the ham and cook for a further 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add more water if it seems too thick.

The soup is done when the peas are completely cooked through.

Ditch the bay leaves and thyme branch and serve hot, with a drizzle of olive oil and large slices of toasted country bread spread thick with butter or rubbed with garlic. 

Lesley Chesterman

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.