Pea soup, the good country food of peasant stock for generations previous, has started to reach gourmet-level prices in grocery stores for unknown reasons.
You can make your own at home for pennies a jar, and, at the same time restore it back to being a truly healthy, nourishing food.
If you have the storage space, you may wish to consider doing a big batch of this by doubling or tripling the recipe so that you are stocked up for the year.
This is a tested recipe from both Ball and Bernardin.
Note: this can be very thick before canning. Feel free to thin it down with some water. It’s safe to *lower* the density. But don’t add tons of extra water or you may get unsightly separation of soup and water in the jars (not that that’s unsafe, just less attractive.)
Jar size choices: Either ¼ litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR ½ litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz) OR 1 litre (1 US quart / 32 oz)
Processing method: Pressure canning
Yield: 5 x half-litre (1 US pint) jars. 10 cups.
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
Processing time: Quarter and half-litres (pints and half-pints) 75 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes.
Home canned pea soup
Yield: 5 x half-litre (1 US pint) jars
- 2 litres water (8 cups / 64 oz)
- 500 g split peas (dry) (about 1 pound / 2 cups)
- 3 carrots (medium. Peeled, finely chopped. About 1 ½ cups / 250 g, measured after prep.)
- 1 onion (medium-large, chopped finely. About 150 g / 5 oz / 1 cup)
- 150 - 200 g ham (cooked, diced. About 1 cup)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt (To taste. See Recipe Notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon allspice (ground)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled. For taste, not safety)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or Maggi)
Put peas and water in large pot. Bring to the boil, reduce to a low simmer, and let simmer covered until peas are soft, about 1 hour.
Purée through blender (optional).
Add remainder of ingredients, simmer for 30 minutes.
Fish out bay leaf.
Put into jars.
Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace, regardless of jar size.
Wipe rims, apply lids, set in pressure canner.
Process pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.).
Process time: 75 minutes for ¼ litre and ½ litre (½ US pint and 1 US pint), OR 90 minutes for 1 litre / US quart.
Processing times for pea soup
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canners. For dial-gauge adjustments, follow guidelines here .
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|¼ litre (½ US pint)||75 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|½ litre (1 US pint)||75 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||90 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to pressure can, step by step.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
- Measure the split peas dry. Don’t soak them first. In fact, you don’t soak them for any recipe that we know of, canning or non-canning.
- You can use a food processor to chop up the carrot and onion finely.
- Yes, you must peel the carrots. You are reducing the bacterial load going into the canner.
- If you want to purée the peas, you will get better results in a blender than in a food processor.
- The lemon juice and Maggi / Worcestershire sauce are just there as acids to wake up the taste of the peas, they have no preservative effect in this recipe. You could also try a teaspoon or so of a mild vinegar such as white wine vinegar to wake up the taste.
- Salt to taste. It’s here as a seasoning, not for safety. Try from 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons of salt or of a non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub. We have found Herbamare Sodium-Free performs well in that regard.
- To help balance flavour, at the end you can try adding some sugar a few tablespoons at a time, or some splenda or a few drops of liquid stevia.
- Easily doubled and tripled.
- If you are doubling the recipe, you can get 7 x 1 litre (US quart) jars if you add more water or stock to thin it out (it’s quite a thick soup otherwise, anyway, and can often thicken more during canning. It’s safe to *lower* the density.)
- You can use yellow or green split peas.
- You may safely omit the ham. Omitting the ham does not reduce the processing time.
- The cooking time on this might seem long, but it really only needs about 30 to 60 minutes of your active time, including prep, bottling the soup and clean-up.
- Tip: if you have some nice vegetable stock in the freezer drained off from your home canned veggie, this is a great place to use it for depth of background flavour.
Split Pea Soup. In: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Daleville, Indiana: Hearthmark LLC. Edition 37. 2014. Page 107.
Habitant soup. In: Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 94.
- Added lemon juice and maggi / Worchestershire sauce for sourness to wake up taste of peas, plus optional sweetening;
- Increased allspice by ¼ teaspoon;
As nourishing as a jar of this soup is, it still packs a whallop in calories, so we have suggested the smaller quarter-litre (½ US pint / 8 oz / 250 ml) jars as an alternative size, simply because one tends to eat all of a jar once it is opened. That size of jar still requires the full processing time as for the half-litre (1 US pint) jars.
Per 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz / ¼ litre)
- 215 calories, 1640 mg sodium
Per 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz / ¼ litre)
- 215 calories, 244 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers :
- 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz): 0 SmartPoints (5 points PointsPlus®)
- 2 cups (500 ml / 16 oz): 0 SmartPoints (9 points)
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.