Delicious and hearty, this Quebec-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup cooks low and slow with vegetables and a ham hock, for a filling soup, perfect for lunch or dinner.
Fall’s cooler weather has definitely arrived here and so has my favourite Fall food – soup! Yes, it’s been a while, as soup is not on the menu during the warmer months. I’ve missed it, so for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be celebrating Fall soup, starting with this Quebec Style Split Pea Soup.
Whenever I see ham hocks at the store, I immediately think of this split pea soup. It’s one of my favourites and it’s perfect to have simmering on the stove on cool days. The long simmer infuses such great flavour in the soup. Speaking of flavour, I prefer to use some chicken stock in mine as I think it makes a richer soup. You can definitely make this soup with all water though, if you prefer (or you don’t have chicken stock on hand).
This split pea soup is definitely hearty enough for a dinner soup. Serve with a salad and a crusty bread and you’re all set.
Cook’s Notes for Quebec Style Yellow Split Pea Soup
Many grocery stores carry frozen ham hocks now, so be sure to look in the frozen meat section for ham hocks if you can’t find fresh!
Can’t find ham hocks? Stir a little ham in to the soup during the last half hour of cooking.
I like to give this soup a super quick blend with the immersion blender. Not enough to puree it. Just enough to blend a bit of the peas in to the broth, for a thicker soup. Alternately, you could remove a cup of the soup and blend it in a blender. Or you could just leave it be. Your call :) Just be sure to remove the bay leaf before you do any blending.
We tend to think of dried beans and peas as pantry items that last a long time, truth be told, they do continue to dry out even more as they sit. So if you want to be sure to have a great soup, start with a fresh bag of split peas.
Prepare your dried peas by picking through peas and discarding any odd looking ones, then rinsing well under running water in a colander.
I prefer to add salt and pepper at the end, as I’m adding some salt with the broth and the ham hock already.
Quebec-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup
- 1 lb unsmoked ham hock
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 3/4 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried savory
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Trim off and discard skin from ham hocks.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in dried split peas, bay leaf savory and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Stir in 4 cups of chicken broth and 3 cups of water. Add ham hock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until peas are very soft and soup is thickened, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. *NOTE: You may need to add additional water if soup gets too thick.
Discard bay leaf and remove ham hock to a plate. *Note: If you prefer a thicker soup, you can blend a bit of the soup with an immerersion blender or blender. Just do a quick blend (or blend just a cup of the soup, so that you don't end up pureeing the soup. You want it to be chunky still.)
Let ham hock cool a bit, then remove any meat and add to soup. Discard the fat and bone.
Stir to combine meat with soup. Taste and generously season with salt and pepper, to taste.