This traditional cold weather soup has been popular since the early voyagers and pioneer days as dried peas were easy to grow and store.


Serves 8 or more

  • 1 lb or 2 cups (250g or 500 ml) dried yellow and or green split peas
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, small cubed or grated not necessary to peel
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cumin seeds
  • Large pinch of chili flakes
  • 2-3 tsp (10-15 ml) salt taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground black pepper
  • 8 cups (2 L) water
  • 1/2 lb (250g) salt pork, ham and bone if available or any desired meat, optional
  1. Sort peas on flat pan to remove any debris. In large 8 L saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion, garlic, carrots, thyme, cumin and chilli on medium-low heat to sweat and enrich their flavour covered for 3 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add the dried peas and water to saucepan. Cut ham or pork in small cubes and ham bone if available with bay leaves and. Cover and gently cook for 2 hours if using split peas or 1½ to 2 hours, but if using whole peas until very tender. Add more water if soup thickens too much. If using ham bone, remove and pull off any bits of ham and return to soup. Discard ham bone.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Soup can be frozen up to six months.