Magic Pan’s Potage St. Germain (Pea Soup)

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I can still remember piling into my Dad’s powder-blue, Kalamazoo, Checker Marathon to head to a Southeastern Michigan mall and a stop at the Magic Pan crepe restaurant. Jane P. still yearns for the Potage St. Germain which was served at the  restaurant chain in those  early days: “Even though the crepes were wonderful, whether sweet or savory, my meal did not feel complete without this smooth and flavorful version of pea soup.” While the Magic Pan restaurant of the ’70s no longer exists, a newer, evolved version of the concept, the Magic Pan Crepe Stand, does. Here is the original recipe, compliments of Lettuce Entertain You, current owners of Magic Pan Crepe Stand.



  • 1 (1 pound) ham bone
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (13 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 cups split peas
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped leeks or green onions
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chopped ham, cooked
  • 1/2 cup chopped chicken (cooked) (optional)


  1. Place ham bone in large pot. Add water, chicken stock and peas and bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes
  3. Saute the onions, carrots and celery just until limp. Add them to the soup pot along with all of the seasoning and continue to simmer until peas are very soft and mixture is thick – about 45 minutes. Remove ham bone. Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Add ham and chicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a splash of dry sherry, to taste.

6 thoughts on “Magic Pan’s Potage St. Germain (Pea Soup)

  1. This is FANTASTIC! I too have been yearning for this Magic Pan Soup for all these years. Just like Jane, I have really fond memories of lunches there with my mother and/or girlfriends. We had our choice of a small amount of sherry or sour cream on top of that beautiful bowl. Thank you so much! :-)

  2. I worked at Magic Pan for two years in Tyson’s Corner(VA), Jennifer St(DC)
    and the Galleria in Houston. None of these restaurants used the Potage
    Recipe you listed. They doctored up a Pea Soup they bought in a #10 can
    From Le Gout

    • Dave—Yup, I’ve heard about the sad, #10-canned soup doctoring. A lot of the good recipes concepts START with when there are just one or two units, unfortunately get dumbed down (#10 can-ified) because of the need to replicate recipes consistently when there are dozens of units. It’s one of those Catch-22s of the chain restaurant industry. –Monica Kass Rogers

  3. I was newly arrived from UK in the 60’s and was taken to the Magic Pan in the San Fernando Valley, Ca. by friends. All those years ago and I never forgot the Pea Soup with Sherry & Sour Cream. Today I am making Pea Soup and will serve it with sherry and sour cream…all those memories come flooding back and I am glad to have found this site

  4. I worked at the one in Birmingham, the soup was from several cans and mixed there, the carrots were fresh, I hated working lunch because we all had to peel carrots, the rattitouie was made fresh, spinach crepe was stoffers , loved the food, worked both kitchen and waited tables, another lunch item was the stacked crepe sandwich, thin sliced meat with cream cheese filing.

  5. Thank you so much! I have had very vivid memories of this soup and the special times that I shared with my mother and friends! I also remember them serving it with a small amount of sherry or sour cream as a garnish. I would visit the Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, IL. Can’t wait to make it and make new memories with my family!

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