Quebec-Style Yellow Pea Soup

A nod to her mother’s legacy, Aube Giroux’s pea soup is soul-soothing

In the award-winning documentary Modified, from CBC Docs POV, Aube Giroux embarks on a personal journey to investigate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and foods in Canada, spurred on by her mother’s own food activism and gardening.

Through her personal journey, Giroux has created a celebrated cooking blog, Kitchen Vignettes, and has produced some mouth-watering recipes that we wanted to share, including her mother’s pea soup. "This soup is as familiar to me as fish chowder is to a Mainer. Like a true Québecoise, my mom would make Soupe aux pois on a regular basis, long after we moved away from Québec," says Giroux. For more, see Giroux’s recipes on PBS Food and watch Modified on CBC Docs POV.


Quebec-Style Yellow Pea Soup

By Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes


2 cups whole yellow dry peas (or 2 1/2 cups split peas if you can’t find whole peas)
2 medium carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
1 medium leek , finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cup chopped)
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cup chopped)
3 Tbsp butter
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1 small smoked pork hock or ham bone with meat on it (optional)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)


If using split peas, there’s no need to soak, so skip this step. If using whole peas, place them in a large bowl, and cover them by 3 inches of water. Cover and soak the peas for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse; set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and leek and cook, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables have softened and are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, pork hock, drained peas, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes, until the peas are completely soft and tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Add water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. (The soup should be quite thick). If a ham hock was used, it can be removed and the meat around it chopped and returned to the soup. Season to taste, with salt and pepper and stir well. Serve hot, with fresh chopped parsley.

Yield: 8 servings

Watch Modified on CBC Docs POV.

Recipes provided courtesy of PBS Food.