Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Smoky split pea soup
Some people turn up their noses at split pea soup, but not me. It is truly one of my favorites and has been since I was a kid. I usually make it with the leftover holiday ham and bone, but this time I went with some applewood smoked bacon. I also added some smoked paprika for the additional smokiness along with lots of extra veggies like carrots and potatoes. I have been craving comfort foods lately, and split pea soup is definitely one of those for me. I love soup on dreary, cool days. It lifts your spirits and makes you feel warm inside.
If you or someone you love is on the fence when it comes to split pea soup, try this recipe out on them. Maybe they have never had a homemade version and you can change their mind. While it may not be the prettiest soup, it is delicious. Serve this soup with some crusty bread and/or a side salad for a complete meal. This recipe will make a large pot of soup - perfect for lunch leftovers the next day.
Smoky split pea soup
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, preferably nitrate free, finely chopped
1 cup finely diced white onion
1 celery rib, halved lengthwise and finely chopped
3 carrots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 bay leaf, broken in half
3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves roughly chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
16 oz. dried green split peas, rinsed and picked through
Heat a soup/stock pot over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and place on a plate with a paper towel to drain. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pot and add a little more olive oil.
Add all of the vegetables to the pot (onion through potatoes). Stir well. Add the bay leaf, thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and let the vegetables sweat and begin to soften. Cook for about 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken stock and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze. Add the split peas. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the peas are soft, about an hour to an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot.
What was I cooking one year ago?: black bean patties with mango salsa
Two years ago?: macadamia coconut tart in a chocolate cookie crust