Photo: Randy Mayor
8 servings

Habitant refers to people who live in rural Québec, where this hearty soup is a popular staple.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups onion, carrot, and celery to pan; sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas; sauté for 1 minute. Add broth and the next 4 ingredients (through ham hock); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender, skimming surface occasionally, as necessary.

Step 2

Remove ham hock and bay leaves; discard. Remove salt pork; cool. Remove 1 1/2 cups pea mixture; let stand 5 minutes. Puree 1 1/2 cups pea mixture, and return to pan, stirring to thicken slightly. Stir in parsley, chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.

Step 3

Dice salt pork. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cover and cook 5 minutes or until crisp and browned, stirring frequently. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon pork and 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

CarrieLMB's Review

July 01, 2013
Much closer to old-fashion split pea soup with ham! Texture much better with immersion blender. Far too salty; don't need added salt. Salt pork comes in 12oz pack; half of it is fat. I had cut the whole thing in half for the 6oz, but should have trimmed most of the fat and just used meaty parts. Too much thyme and needs to be cut more finely. 5 WW PP Pts without crisped salt pork and creme fraiche for 1.25cups.

teacooking's Review

February 12, 2012
I made this using a ham bone I made earlier in the week. Great flavor and comforting. Added diced ham after a quick spin with the blender. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow!

EileenClarke's Review

January 21, 2012
This was fabulous and has become my standard Pea Soup recipe! My husband loved it!

KellyDiff's Review

January 15, 2012
This was seriously outstanding! Hearty, filling, and felt decadent with the crème fraîche.

kaesha's Review

January 21, 2011
I adore this recipe. I replace the salt pork and the ham hock with a hunk of double smoked bacon (and fry that up at the end), and it's just perfect.

Melioh's Review

September 30, 2010
I didn't make this but I didn't want to ruin it's rating, but am wondering how does a recipe with this much fat get to be in Cooking Light?

Suntuosabird's Review

July 31, 2010
LOVE this soup! Will definitely make this again.

stephinoregon's Review

April 18, 2010
This was a very filling, delicious soup that I will definitely make again. It's also a lovely color. I think I just ate it with some vegetables or salad and that was plenty. I left out the ham hock and salt pork so the soup would be less salty.

MizRev's Review

March 26, 2010
This was really good, but it's the only CL recipe I've ever made that I didn't have to add more salt, including that called for in the recipe. In fact, it was on the edge of being too salty before I added water to thin it. Maybe it was the salt pork. I also used half reduced-sodium chix stock and half beef, to use up leftover stock. Definitely worth frying up the crunchy bits and adding the creme fraiche. Yum.

Drosera's Review

January 18, 2010
I tweaked this a little bit. Instead of salt pork, I used bacon because the salt pork I could find was filled with nitrates and other nastiness. During the last 1/2 hour of cooking I added 4 small heads of finely chopped kale, about 1 cup more water and covered the pot. I found the peas had already turned a creamy consistency so skipped the mashing step. I also cooked the step of frying the boiled bacon; it looked too gross for that and I didn't miss it.