The Most Canadian of Soups

 

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We are heading into prime comfort food season, and also find ourselves not wanting to cook anything from scratch right now. After all the basting of turkey, mashing of potatoes and baking of shortbread, it is time for a break. And we would like to  recommend a truly Canadian pantry staple, the most beloved soup this country has ever known…

Drum roll please, for the delicious soup of our comfort seeking nation look no further than –  Split Pea Soup!

For reasons gustatory, sentimental and historical, split pea soup holds a special place in many a Canadian heart, especially in Quebec and Eastern Canada.

 

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The tradition of split pea soup in Canada goes back over 400 years, traced back to Samuel de Champlain who started his Order of Good Cheer (Ordre de bon temps) back in 1606 to lift the spirits of Les Habitants, the French settlers in Port Royal in Acadia who were suffering through yet another particularly brutal winter. Cured meats and dried beans and peas were easy to carry over the Atlantic, and these simple ingredients made a soup that really stuck to your ribs, and has since become a part of Quebec-and Canada’s-culture.

 

 

The Order of Good Cheer

The Order of Good Cheer

 

Making your own split pea soup is super easy, but it is rather time consuming, so it makes sense that with the advent of the twentieth century the magic was literally put in a can. In 1918, Habitant began making and canning its famous split pea soup. Keeping it simple has been the key, one of the reasons that this iconic soup is still going strong, and why 99 years later you can still find it in supermarkets and corner stores all across the country. True, the company has changed hands several times throughout the years, and is now owned by a little company called Campbell’s, but the recipe, the imagery and the taste is still the same. The slogan, Homemade Tradition Since 1918, still adorns the bright yellow label.

No need to fuss with any prep or dirty a bunch of dishes, simply heat up a can of Habitant and relax like a true Canadian.

 

 

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