Canadian split pea soup a warming dish on a frigid day

By Jim Bailey

If pancetta is too expensive, by all means try other cured hams or even boiled ham. I have used a new product from my deli called Italian Hot Ham, and the heat is absolutely perfect.

And if you are wondering if there is a difference between Canadian split peas and green split peas … no, there is not. Other than the color, they are interchangeable in any recipe, including this one.

1 pound yellow or green split peas
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
4-8 ounces diced pancetta
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups water
1/2 cup pastina pasta *
Salt and black pepper to taste

Just place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil over medium high heat. There is no need to  saute this or brown that.

Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer at least 90 minutes, stirring once or twice for the first half of the cooking time. The last 45 minutes, you may want to stir more often because as it thickens to prevent scorching.

Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

* Use whatever type of mini pasta you desire, such as risoni, couscous, quadretti, ditali … well, you get the idea.

NOTE: This is one of those recipes that is suited to a slow cooker. Simply place all ingredients in a 3 quart (or larger) crockpot, cover and allow to simmer the entire day. If you are home, stir every once in a while. If not, forget about it. You can give it a good whirl when you come in.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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