Traditional Quebec Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

Who knew? The recipe for Traditional Quebec Pea Soup probably came across the ocean with Samuel de Champlain over 400 years ago.

According to the Ottawa Chef Marc Miron who recently made this discovery, “When they came to Canada, they didn’t know what to expect so they loaded up their boats with dry beans, cured meats and salted fish; ingredients that would travel well and were nourishing.”

They didn’t have slow cookers back in Samuel de Champlain’s day, but its easiest way to make this soup today.

Soak the beans over night, cook them in the slow cooker while you’re at work, then finish the soup when you get home. Voila! Fantastic soup that tastes like you’ve been slaving over the hot stove all day.

Don’t have have time to make this soup from scratch? Treat yourself to a can of Habitant Pea Soup. It’s one of the best canned soups on the market – inexpensive, no preservatives, and completely delicious.

pea soup

Traditional Quebec Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

  • 2 cups whole yellow dry peas (do not use split peas – the soup will turn to mush)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water, or half-half)
  • 1 pork hock or ham bone
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

Soak peas overnight, then cook in slow cooker with 8 cups of stock (or water), the ham bone or pork hock and the bay leaf for 6-8 hours.

The next day, put the peas in a large soup pot. Add 3-4 cups of water, or enough liquid for a soup-like consistency.

In a large fry pan, sauté the carrots, celery, leek and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45-60 minutes. Add more water while cooking if needed. The soup should be quite thick.

Remove ham hock, cut the meat off the bone and then discard the bone and add the meat back to the soup.

Season to taste and serve.

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