Delicious split pea soup

A big pot of pea soup I made today

Growing up in Canada, there was one thing that kept me warm and happy during those cold winter months – my mother’s French Canadian Pea soup. La soupe aux pois de maman ! She would make it from scratch. I loved coming home to a steaming bowl of smokey pea soup.

Now that I live in Switzerland, I don’t have my mother’s original recipe; however, I did come across one that tastes very much like hers. This recipe was created by the late Linda McCartney, vegetarian and former wife of Paul McCartney. It was given to me by my friend Sue who also had fond memories of Canadian Pea soup.

This soup is easy to make and it’s very good for you. It’s made with all natural ingredients and it satisfies both vegan and non-vegan palates. The first time I made it, I thought that it would be too chunky, unlike my mom’s soup. After simmering for 1½ hours, the big veggie chunks shrink, the peas soften and you get that soft golden base that is typical to pea soup. Here it is…and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Split Pea Soup

By: Linda McCartney

Enough for 5 big bowls of soup.

Level: very easy (takes 15-20 minutes to make)

  • 1 cup dry yellow split peas (pois jaunes)
  • ½ cup dry red lentils
  • 2 medium size onions, quartered
  • 4 celery branches with leaves, chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes, pealed (or boil to loosen skins then peal) and chopped in chunks
  • 2 leaks, chopped in 1 inch chunks
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • A sprinkle of fresh dried herbs (Italian or herbes des Provences)
  • A pinch of dried thyme
  • One dry bay leaf
  • 5-6 cups of water (just enough water to cover ingredients)

Place all ingredients into a soup pot. Bring to boil then lower and simmer covered for 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally. Add more water if you want a more fluid soup. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve.

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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