Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet Recipes

Fort Chambly Pea Soup

This recipe is prepared at Fort Chambly National Historic Site each time a group of re-enactors holds a military encampment representing the French period (1665-1760).

Fort Chambly Pea Soup

Origin: Fort Chambly National Historic Site
Region: Quebec
Period: Traditional
Course: Soups and Starters

Fort Chambly Historic painting of Fort Chambly
© Parks Canada

From what we know, in the 1750s French colonial soldiers received as a ration bread (1 ½ lb), lard (4 oz) and dried peas (4 oz). We have deduced that what soldiers usually ate must have resembled pea soup!

Fort Chambly Pea Soup


  • 6 ⅓ cups | 1.5 litres of water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb | 500 g of yellow or green dried splt peas (preferably soaked overnight)
  • ½ lb | 250 g of salted lard, diced
  • 4 tsp | 20 g of dried herbs (parsley, thyme, chervil, savoury, sage, sorrel)
  • 1 tsp | 5 g salt
  • 2 tsp | 10 g pepper


  • Render the lard over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion; let cook for a few minutes. Add the peas and mix well. Finally, add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer for a good two hours.
  • Half an hour before serving, add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This soup is a simplified version of a recipe found in the book Jardins et potagers en Nouvelle-France – Joie de vivre et patrimoine culinaire (p.170-171), Martin Fournier (author), published by Septentrion, 2004, ISBN 2-89448-385-6

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