Un, deux, pois…

Split Pea and Smoked Bratwurst Soup

Nourishing and delicious pea soup

PEA SOUP has long been a comfort food favourite across the region. Good, hearty fare that sticks to the ribs, there are many variations of this country staple, although most home recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and have the same basic ingredients: dried peas, root vegetables and salt meat, ham or pork hocks, all ingredients that would keep well over a long winter or a sea voyage to a new land.

From Acadian settlers, who would have enjoyed a bowl or two of soupe aux pois after long hours of working in the fields, to Newfoundlanders who like “doughboys” or dumplings in their version, little has changed in the making of this soup over the centuries.

Those early settlers were on to something. Full of flavour, inexpensive and easy to make, pea soup is nourishing as well as delicious. It is high in dietary fibre—a 1 cup serving represents 17 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance—and high in potassium, and is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential in activating the enzyme responsible for the clotting of blood. Canned pea soup can be high in sodium, so I find it’s always better to make it from scratch.