Recipes/ Snack/ Soup

Pie Floater Recipe with Pea Soup

28/07/2016 (Last Updated: 29/10/2019)

What a classic South Australian street food snack! This recipe for pie floater features a crispy, flaky meat pie floating in a delicious pea soup.  Learn how to make your very own mushy pea soup pie floater – Adelaide style.

A mini meat pie floating on mushy pea soup, slathered in tomato sauce.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • The pie floater may look like an odd pairing at first glance. But there’s something special about oh-so-crispy and flaky meat pies floating on soft and nourishing pea soup. You have to try them to understand!
  • Mushy pea pie floaters are totally delicious and super satisfying, not to mention budget-friendly and easy to make.
  • You can easily make the pea soup and meat pies in advance – just freeze them separately so they’re ready to be re-heated and assembled when you’re ready to eat! 

Boiler peas soaking in a saucepan.

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A mini meat pie floating on mushy pea soup, slathered in tomato sauce.

What is a Pie Floater?

A Pie Floater is a beef pie served on top of (or smothered in, or floating on) a simple green pea soup, with a splattering of tomato sauce, mint sauce, bbq sauce, gravy or malt vinegar depending on your flavour preferences.

Where did Pie Floater Originate?

The South Aussie Pie Floater is Adelaide’s original fast food tradition dating back to the 1870’s – even further back to its English origins.

Once upon a time a fleet of pie carts traversed the streets of Adelaide, dishing up piping hot South Aussie Pie Floaters to hungry people looking for a quick dinner or a late night snack.

Nowadays, despite being a South Australian Heritage Icon, the humble pie cart is a rare sight.

Which makes ZERO sense with the growing food truck craze in our city right now, but gives you even more reason to make them at home. 😉

Pie floaters on a table with a small bowl of tomato sauce.

What You’ll Need

All you need for your very own South Aussie Pie Floaters are 3 SIMPLE THINGS:

  1. Meat Pies – You can use any store bought pie you like, but for the best flavour we recommend making them yourself. These Australian Mini Meat Pies are not only perfect little party pies, they go awesomely in a Pie Floater!
  2. Pea Soup – It’s super easy to make, but it does need some pre-planning since you need to soak the peas overnight. You’ll also need:
    • Chicken stock
    • Bicarb soda
  3. Tomato Sauce – Traditionally in Australia that means the Aussie kind, not ketchup (but of course you can substitute with ketchup if you need). In my opinion tomato sauce is essential. But if you wanna mix things up with other flavour-packed sauces, the traditional choices are mint sauce, bbq sauce, gravy or malt vinegar. Which will you try?

How to Make Pie Floater

  • Now guys, don’t forget that the first part of this recipe is to soak your blue boiler peas in a large saucepan overnight. Otherwise you’ll never get to that thick and lusciously smooth texture. The peas will DOUBLE in size overnight, so make sure to put them in a large enough saucepan.
  • Drain your soaked peas, rinse them thoroughly and drain again. Repeat this a few times until the peas are nice and clean.
  • Pour in your chicken stock and bicarb soda and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the peas have softened and the soup has thickened nicely (around 30-40 minutes). If too much liquid evaporates, feel free to pour in a little more liquid as you go.
  • Transfer your thick green soup into serving bowls and top with a hot flaky mini beef pie. Slather with your favourite toppings and tuck right in!

Three bowls of pie floaters with sauce and cutlery.

Tips

  • To be ultra authentic you should technically serve the pie upside down in the soup – but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do that when the lids of our Mini Meat Pies were so CRISPYYYY.

A mini meat pie floating on mushy pea soup, slathered in tomato sauce.

FAQs

Can you make pie floaters in advance?

Yes, you can make your pie floater in advance as long as you store the soup and pie separately. The soup will last for around 3 days in the fridge, up to a few months if stored in the freezer. Pies can also be made in advance and frozen, then thawed completely before baking in the oven until heated through. Serve your assembled pie floater immediately.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Traditionally in Australia the pie floater pea soup is made with dried Australian Blue Boiler peas, but you can also substitute with a variety called Marrowfat peas, or canned pea soup for an even quicker rendition. 
  • In Australia we love our tomato sauce, but feel free to substitute with ketchup if required.

A mini meat pie floating on mushy pea soup, slathered in tomato sauce.

More Delicious Australian Recipes To Try

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

A mini meat pie floating on mushy pea soup, slathered in tomato sauce.

Pie Floater Recipe with Pea Soup

Pie floaters are a classic South Australian street food snack made out of a crispy, flaky meat pie floating in a delicious pea soup. Learn how to make your very own mushy pea soup pie floater - Adelaide style.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 4
Calories: 385.25kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Large serving bowls

Ingredients

  • 500 g blue boiler peas or marrowfat peas soaked overnight
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp bicarb soda
  • 4 mini beef pies

Optional toppings (to taste)

  • Tomato sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Mint sauce
  • Malt vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Now guys, don’t forget that the first part of this recipe is to soak your blue boiler peas in a large saucepan overnight. Otherwise you’ll never get to that thick and lusciously smooth texture. The peas will DOUBLE in size overnight, so make sure to put them in a large enough saucepan.
  • Drain your soaked peas, rinse them thoroughly and drain again. Repeat this a few times until the peas are nice and clean.
  • Pour in your chicken stock and bicarb soda and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the peas have softened and the soup has thickened nicely (around 30-40 minutes). If too much liquid evaporates, feel free to pour in a little more liquid as you go.
  • Transfer your thick green soup into serving bowls and top with a hot flaky mini beef pie. Slather with your favourite toppings and tuck right in!

Notes

Tips

  • To be ultra authentic you should technically serve the pie upside down in the soup – but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do that when the lids of our Mini Meat Pies were so CRISPYYYY.
 

FAQs

  • Can you make pie floaters in advance? Yes, you can make pie floaters in advance as long as you store the soup and pies separate. The soup will last for around 3 days in the fridge, up to a few months if stored in the freezer. Pies can also be made in advance and frozen, then thawed completely before baking in the oven until heated through. Serve your assembled pie floater immediately.
 

Variations & Substitutes

  • Traditionally in Australia the pea soup is made with dried Australian Blue Boiler peas, but you can also substitute with a variety called Marrowfat peas, or canned pea soup for an even quicker rendition. 
  • In Australia we love our tomato sauce, but feel free to substitute with ketchup if required.

Nutrition

Calories: 385.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.65g | Protein: 18.84g | Fat: 13.85g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Cholesterol: 19.75mg | Sodium: 1400.55mg | Potassium: 700.75mg | Fiber: 7.13g | Sugar: 12.33g | Vitamin A: 1406.25IU | Vitamin C: 51.1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3.72mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Oh, and PS…

A small puppy sitting on a chair looking at a pot of boiler peas.

Just have a look at this gorgeous pup for a second… Bonnie just loves to watch Sarah take photos. She’s so patient, content just to sit and watch and keep us company.

Best photography assistant ever.

(And the cutest and the furriest too of course!)

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    AP
    25/05/2019 at 5:27 pm

    …so where does the Bicarb Soda fit in…???

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/06/2019 at 11:45 am

      Hi AP, thanks for stopping by! Great pickup – that’s meant to go in along with the chicken stock. We’ve updated the recipe now. 🙂

  • Reply
    George
    18/02/2019 at 5:58 am

    I know “tomato sauce” isn’t ketchup but is it just tomato sauce straight out of can?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/02/2019 at 2:25 pm

      Hey George! Tomato sauce is the Australian term for Ketchup. 🙂 You could definitely try the recipe with canned tomatoes or passata and see how it turns out. Who knows! Haha otherwise, stick with ketchup. 🙂

  • Reply
    Fair-go Dibbler
    14/11/2016 at 3:54 am

    Looked up this recipe after listening to “The Last Continent ” by Terry Pratchett. But I’ll have to find a sauce recipe. Sorry, but I’m not spending over $30 for tomato sauce! No worries, good-on-ya!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/11/2016 at 10:41 am

      Hey, thanks for stopping by! Got to love Terry Pratchett’s works, he was such a hilariously clever writer. Now, re the tomato sauce, looks like the shipping fee was the killer there! You could check out an import store and see if they stock any – we found Australian Vegemite and Tim Tams in the most random countries on our adventures, so you never know!

  • Reply
    Noble Ayaia
    01/09/2016 at 12:32 pm

    There is nothing more iconic than the Aussie meat pie. We all love it and we all know a good pie immediately. Smothered with tomato sauce, not ketchup, this is comfort food down under.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2016 at 12:01 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 😉

  • Reply
    Jovita @ Yummy Addiction
    07/08/2016 at 6:39 am

    What an amazing idea to pair meat pies with pea soup. Looks like a perfect lunch or light dinner!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/08/2016 at 12:53 pm

      It’s an oldie but a goodie! And yep, just as good for lunch or dinner, and often eaten just as a snack too (depending on the size of those meat pies!).

  • Reply
    J@BlessHerHeartYall
    07/08/2016 at 1:10 am

    Oh yum! I have never seen or heard of this but it looks absolutely delicious! I need to try this ASAP!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/08/2016 at 12:51 pm

      Go go go! Let us know what you think J! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda {Striped Sptaula}
    07/08/2016 at 12:00 am

    I’ve never heard of a pie floater, but YUM! Homemade pea soup is one of my favorites, and I can imagine that the meat pie and tomato sauce must take it to the next level. Sounds great!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/08/2016 at 12:48 pm

      Totally agree Amanda, pea soup is amazing! And Aussies are nothing if not ingenious when it comes to food pairing hahaha. 😛 Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    06/08/2016 at 3:05 am

    I have never heard about this dish, but it looks amazing. Meat pies + pea soup = awesomeness!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/08/2016 at 12:45 pm

      Haha yep, nailed it Igor! 🙂

  • Reply
    Florentina
    05/08/2016 at 1:10 pm

    This is all new to me too and I’m game. Your puppy looks like my baby Nala’s brother. Major awwwww moment over here!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/08/2016 at 12:45 pm

      Couldn’t imagine life without our pups! 🙂

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