"Voyageurs” were the fur traders of the 17th and 18th centuries who canoed into the wilds of western Canada and the northern US. One of the essentials they carried in their canoes were bags of dried whole yellow peas. Pea soup was the staple meal of the journey – light to carry, and providing sustenance that “stayed with a man”.
Voyageurs knew from experience what was good for them. The soup was made during the night as the voyageurs slept. A kettle was filled with nine quarts of peas (one for each man), water and strips of pork, and hung over the fire until the peas burst. Four biscuits were then added to the soup which simmered until daylight. The pea soup wasn't consumed until after the first 12 miles had been travelled the following morning. By then, the voyageurs would definitely be ready for a nice bowl of protein-rich soup.
For 4 Person(s)
In a large soup pot, sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in canola oil until lightly golden. Add the ham hock and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the stock, water, peas, bay leaves and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for approximately 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours (stirring occasionally), or until the meat is tender.
Remove the ham hock and bay leaves from the soup. Shred or cut the meat from the bone and reserve. Discard the bone and bay leaves.
Purée half of the soup in a blender and return it back to the pot and stir. Add the meat and season with salt and ground black pepper as desired. Enjoy!