French Canadian Pea Soup

French Canadian Pea Soup

Traditionally made with a ham hock, this is a healthier and easier way to make this hearty soup. I sometimes add diced potato along with the carrots. Cette soupe aux pois est très délicieux! - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

French Canadian Pea Soup


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup diced carrot


  1. In a medium soup pot, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except carrots) and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and simmer, covered, an additional 10 minutes.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

23 Comments on "French Canadian Pea Soup"

  1. Lianne Watkins

    I have always preferred the flavor of the yellow split peas. Sometimes they are a little hard to find but well worth it. I`m so glad it`s coming up soup season soon.

  2. Colette

    Sorry but I always made pea soup with the ham bone it gives it the best flavour

  3. Terry

    Sorry, I missed the last ingredient, carrots. Me bad !

  4. Terry

    I don’t see the carrots on the list of ingredients, how many do you recommend?, and I assume diced.

  5. edgar

    can you used whole yellow peas and do you have to boil them.

    • Jenny

      I have only made this soup with dried split peas and I don’t know what you mean by whole yellow peas. If you mean fresh, I have never seen them fresh so I don’t really have an answer.

      • Diane Marie

        there is such a thing as whole dried yellow peas… Unfortunately, I’ve only found it once, many years ago. I still always try looking in every new grocery store I go to. That was how it was made in Canada…. I however, have not made it in years due to not being able to find whole peas & that I no longer eat pork products. Thanks for this recipe, I will definitely have to give it a try.

  6. Anna C

    Hi Jenny, my husband hates pea soup… Can I replace the peas with lentils?

    • Jenny

      Lentils cook faster than split peas so I would suggest using a recipe for lentil soup. That way you won’t be disappointed. You can let your husband know that this soup tastes nothing like green pea soup… maybe he might try it. 🙂

  7. Becky

    Just absolutely delicious!

    Thanks for another amazing recipe.

  8. Katie


  9. Irene

    Hi Jenny,

    I love your show & recipes.

    Are the dried split peas soaked at all or are they just thrown in dried as they are (after being rinsed)?

    How many cups does this soup recipe yield? I was hoping to make a larger batch and freeze it, so I need to know in advance the end yield result.

    Thank you for You being You!

    • Jenny

      The peas go in the pot just as they are – dried with no pre-soaking. As for how much it makes, I don’t have it made right now so I can only guess. I think it makes no more than 4 cups… maybe 3 1/2 to 4 cups when cooked.

  10. Elizabeth

    What about a.Can you provide a recipe split pea soup with a ham bone

    • Jenny

      Sorry, I do not make spit pea soup with a ham bone.

    • Debbie

      Elizabeth, the recipe would be the same as above only adding a ham bone to it when you add everything except the carrots. Only difference would be to let it simmer an additional l/2 hour then take out of bone and whatever meat hasn’t fallen off, just take off and add to the soup then add the carrots and simmer till carrots are tender.

  11. Jeff

    so are we talking dried split peas? I’m guessing green would work too?

    • Jenny

      Yes, dried, and I have clarified that in the recipe. And I have made this soup with both yellow and green split peas – it’s equally delicious either way.

  12. Jennie

    Wow! I made this soup today and it was out of this world. You’ve outdone yourself again!! Thank you Jenny.

  13. Rhonda

    This recipe seems as easy and delicious as your corn chowder. I love soups too. I love soups when it’s cold outside in fall and winter most. I will have to pick up ingredients my next shopping trip which will be soon to make this soup. I have made your corn chowder the past 2 years for our Soup Social and it’s all gone by the end of the night. I make 2 pots of your corn chowder and I’m glad I double the pot. If not, I don’t think it would’ve been enough. Now I have people wanting the recipe for your corn chowder, so I’m linking them your way to this website for the recipe

  14. Pat Mazurowski

    Hi Jenny. Well, thanks to you I made my first no knead bread. Your instructions were right on. It came out PERFECT. Next I made the Christmas pecan balls and those were absolutely delicious and super easy. Now I’m going to try making this French Canadian Pea Soup since I too, LOVE SOUP. It’s so much fun to watch your videos and I adore your kitchen. Looks a little like mine with all the tools you have on hand. But I have a use for almost everything and made baking a sort of “hobby”. Better than watching t.v. It’s fun to share with my condo crew too. we’re all about the same age and everyone loves home cooking. Thanks Jenny.

  15. Mary

    My husband and I were just talking about yellow pea soup. On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 we purchased a bag of yellow peas. He thought it would be nice to find a healthy recipe without the fat. Today, I received your wonderful recipe and will give it a try. Your recipes are very healthy and have helped me take off ten pounds in six weeks. Keep up the excellent work.
    P.S. We are originally from Welland, Ontario, Canada and now live in Nevada.
    Thank you Jenny

  16. Peter Nind

    Jenny, I doubt you remember me from London, Ont. , but we did meet.
    I can’t Thank You enough for this Canadian Pea Soup recipe. it has always been my favorite . Occasionally i will stray and have Black Bean Soup, but don’t have a recipe, so it’s out of a can ! Too bad!
    Thanks again, Colder weather and Winter is coming fast here in Canada, so rest assured there will be several dinners of your Soup , and Garlic Bread .
    Regards, Peter

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