Newfoundland Pea Soup Recipe

Newfoundland Pea Soup Recipe


  • 1 lb (450 g) dried yellow split peas
  • 1 smoked ham hock or 2 cups diced ham
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 2-3 potatoes, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 turnip (rutabaga), diced (optional)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups (2 liters) water or chicken broth


  1. Prepare the Peas: Rinse the dried split peas under cold water. If you prefer, you can soak the peas overnight in a large bowl with plenty of water to reduce the cooking time.
  2. Cook the Ham Hock: In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the smoked ham hock (or diced ham) and cover with 8 cups of water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1 hour to infuse the flavor into the broth.
  3. Add the Peas and Vegetables: Add the rinsed (or soaked) split peas to the pot. Also add the chopped onion, carrots, potatoes, celery, turnip (if using), minced garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir to combine.
  4. Simmer the Soup: Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the peas and vegetables are tender and the soup has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Season and Serve: Remove the ham hock from the pot. If using a ham hock, you can shred the meat and return it to the soup, discarding the bone. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Final Touch: If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a potato masher to slightly mash the peas and vegetables in the pot. Alternatively, you can blend a portion of the soup with an immersion blender.
  7. Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. It’s delicious with a slice of homemade bread or biscuits.


  • For a richer flavor: You can add a few slices of salt pork or bacon along with the ham hock.
  • Leftovers: This soup tastes even better the next day, so make enough for leftovers. It can also be frozen for future meals.