Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Pea Soup w/Dumplings

Pea soup is a very popular dish in Newfoundland, especially on the west coast. Early settlers brought the recipe with them from their homelands in France, England, Scotland and Ireland. Over the centuries, very little has changed in the preparation of this dish, which is probably why it has remained a stable in the majority of households today. Although there are many variations of this soup, we still follow the old recipe; peas, salt meat or ham, and root vegetables (usually turnip, carrot, parsnip and potato).  Of course every Newfoundlander and Labradorean has their special herbs and spices that goes with it, which makes it more unique. The recipe below is my creation with all it secrets. Please enjoy………

French Newfoundland Pea Soup with Dumplings

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 2 tbsp pork fat (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 lg onion (sm chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup celery (sm chopped)
  • 1 cup carrots (sm chopped)
  • 2 cups yellow split peas
  • 1 cup turnip (sm chopped)
  • 1 cup potato (sm chopped)
  • 10 cups vegetable broth (or water (cold)
  • 1 cup salt meat (sm cubed)
  • Pepper to taste


In a soup pot, low-med heat, sweat onion, garlic, celery and carrot in pork fat for 5 minutes (do not brown). Add split peas, turnip and potato, sweat for another 5 minutes. Season to taste.

Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add meat and simmer until peas are tender (approx 1½ – 2 hrs). Stir occasionally. Season to taste. The last 15 minutes add your dumplings (see recipe below). Serve pea soup with dumplings and fresh homemade buns.




  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking power
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 oz cold water


In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add water to make a dough. Drop spoonfuls in boiling pea soup. Cover pot and cook for approx 12-15 minutes. Test by cutting dumpling in half, if it is flaky or dry in the center, the dumpling is done.


  • Cut or cubed vegetables in small tiny pieces
  • If pea soup too thick add more broth or cold water
  • For a smoky flavour, use bacon vice salt pork
  • For more flavouring use 1 sm bay leaf
  • Add 1 cup parsnip for more flavoring

turn of water – a person’s turn to going to a dug-well for a bucket of water


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