Quebec-style Yellow Split Pea Soap

Quebec-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup

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.

Quebec-style Yellow Split Pea Soap

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. Saving it until the end prevents an overly salty soup.

Quebec-style Yellow Split Pea Soap

Quebec-style Yellow Split Pea Soap

Quebec-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: French Canadian pea soup recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Energy: 445 kcal
Author: Jennifer
Delicious and hearty split pea soup, starting with dried peas and simmered low and slow with spices.


  • 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


  1. Trim off and discard skin from ham hocks.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in dried split peas, bay leaf savory and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. Let ham hock cool a bit, then remove any meat and add to soup. Discard the fat and bone.
  7. Stir to combine meat with soup. Taste and generously season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!

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Quebec-style Yellow Split Pea Soap

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  • Hi there – I’d like to try this recipe but I must admit I don’t know if I have the right kind of ham bone. My mother in law sent us home from Easter with a whole bunch of ham including a big bone with lots of ham still on it. But the bone looks hollow in the middle at one end but not at the other. Is this ok to use?

    • Hi Julie, I will usually use ham hocks to make this soup, just because I don’t cook a ham all that often and my grocery sells the ham hocks frozen, so they are always available to use. That said, the bone from a ham will work just as well. It will impart the same flavour and as a bonus, will usually have more meat attached that you can pull off and add to your soup. So yes, you’re good to go! Enjoy :)

  • First of all, your photography is gorgeous! I love the rustic feel the photographs emulate.
    Second, this recipe looks killer!!! However, I have a question. I may have missed it in the post, but what qualifies the soup to be Quebec style? I love learning about other cultures so I would be curious to know :)

    • Thanks so much, Christina! I’ve always thought that it was the ham hock that made soup Quebec-style. I believe it was early settler food, where they relied on salt-cured things (like ham hocks) and dried beans for their ingredients.

  • I saw one recipe that has a white thick substance and the thyme leaves on top for presentation. I am very curious, it does not say what it is. Could it be sour cream?
    I grew up in Newfoundland and peas soup was served with dumplings! I am making a pot at the moment with salt beef instead of ham yum!

    • Hi Maxine, It could be sour cream. Or yogurt? I’ve never topped mine with anything, though I love the idea of dumplings! Enjoy your soup :)

  • Hello…….have a big ham bone left from Christmas, a fresh bag of yellow split peas, and came upon your soup. Other recipes call for boiling the peas two minutes then soaking for four hours. Yours doesn’t , is that correct ?

    • Hi Linda and yes, it is correct. As noted in the Cook’s Notes, you want to start with a fresh bag of dried peas (not ones that have been in the cupboard a while). If you’re peas are older, you may with to pre-soak etc.

  • Cannot wait to make this soup. My Mom’s Canadian side always preferred yellow pea soup. The color just makes feel good and reminds me of childhood. Thanks for sharing.

  • One of my fathers favorite soups was split pea, and I wish he was still alive so I could make him this one, because I KNOW he would LOVE it, Jennifer! Seriously, this looks absolutely delicious!! And I love that you used ham hocks in here!! I can almost taste how soup-erb this is through the screen! Cheers, friend!

  • It’s finally feeling like fall around here – last Thursday it was 90 degrees! But we recently got some rain and it has cooled down so soups are about to hit the dinner rotation. I’ve never made split pea but that might have to change this year :)

    • Thanks Jessica :) We are solidly in to cooler weather here. In fact, I may have actually seen a snow flake today. Just one, but it’s a bad sign ;)

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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