Soupe aux Pois (Pea Soup)


1 pound split peas, yellow or whole
1/2 pound salt pork
1 medium onion
1-2 cloves garlic


In a large soup kettle, soak 1 pound of split (yellow) or whole (green) peas for about 10 hours, or overnight. Rinse the soaked peas; drain; bring them to a boil with 3 quarts cold water and ½ pound salt pork. The pork may be cut up, but it is traditional to leave it in a chunk. Add 1 medium onion (peeled), and a clove or two of garlic (garlic is optional). Some cooks add finely diced carrots, turnips, and a little bay leaf, but the traditional soup contains just the peas, pork, and onion. Simmer the soup, covered, for 2 or 3 hours, until the peas have completely disintegrated. Season to taste and serve. Note: If you add bay leaf, it’s best to remove it before serving.


Makes 6 generous cupfuls.

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