Split Pea Soup
Nothing is quite better than split pea soup that sticks to your ribs on a cold or rainy winter day. While peas might not appeal to many people because of childhood trauma of having to eat them, once most are grown, a creamy thick soup flavored with bacon and some good crusty Italian bread or garlic bread is not a hard sell.
While this traditionally is prepared with smoked ham hocks, you could make it vegan or vegetarian, but it just would not be the same.
An easy and flavorful shortcut it to use thick cut bacon, diced fine. Heat the olive oil and let the bacon render until its crispy. Don’t let it get burnt. It is easy to miss because it will foam while cooking as seen below.
Once it is crispy, add in the trinity of carrot, celery and onion, finely chopped or pureed in a food processor. Once the vegetables soften, now is the time to add in some shredded garlic. You can use a cheese grater for this, or just chop it as fine as you can, or use the food processor. Add the broth, bring to a gentle boil, then add in the split peas.
If you pre-soak the split peas, it will make this recipe easier. On the package of the split peas and most blogs, it will tell you it is not necessary, but if you do, it will make life easier. If you do not have time to pre-soak, then you will have to blenderize the peas when they are about halfway boiled, but then that might make your food processor erupt like a volcano because of the intense heat, or, you can use a stick blender. This is why it is easier to soak the peas first so you don’t have to have either of those tools and just go ahead and cook.
After that, it is just a waiting game. And you can plan to wait at least an hour before the peas are soft, perhaps even mushy.
- 4 Slices thick cut bacon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Cup split peas (Goya)
- 1 Cup carrot/celery/onion
- 5 cups spring water
- 1/4 cup grated cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Teaspoons Better than Bullion Chicken (or 2 cups of regular broth)
- Garnish: Optional, very crispy bacon crumbles.
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