Pack Lunch: St. Lawrence chef J-C Poirier stirs up an easy peasy recipe for work

Poirier doesn't just have a Michelin-starred restaurant, he also has the perfect soup to pack for the office

This simpler, quicker version of traditional Quebecois split pea soup from chef J-C Poirier of Vancouver’s St. Lawrence restaurant makes six portions—ideal for reheatable lunch leftovers.


  • 2 cups dried yellow split peas
  • 2 tbsp duck fat or unsalted butter
  • 6 oz smoked bacon, finely diced
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup of your favourite beer (drink the rest)
  • 6 cups chicken stock, ham hock stock or water
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf  parsley
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp bourbon


Soak the peas in cold water at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain just before you’re ready to make the soup.

In a large pot on medium heat, melt the duck fat. Sweat the bacon, stirring often, for 3 minutes, then add the shallots, celery and carrots. Stir often and pay attention: you want to see light colouration, about 10 minutes. Add the drained peas and stir for 1 minute to heat them up. Have a sip of your beer and deglaze the pot with 1 cup of it. Reduce until there’s almost no liquid left, then stir in the chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf.

Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, then lower the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked. Discard the thyme and bay leaf.

Transfer one-third of the soup (2 cups) to a blender and purée. Stir the purée back into the pot and add water if the soup is too thick. Taste the soup and make sure the seasoning is to your liking.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, maple syrup and bourbon. Portion the soup into individual bowls and drizzle some of the parsley magic garnish on top.

Excerpted from Where the River Narrows by Jean-Christophe Poirier with Joie Alvaro Kent. Copyright © 2022 Jean-Christophe Poirier. Photography © 2022 Brit Gill. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.