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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Split Pea Soup

I can't think of an uglier food to present on this blog. Can you say baby food?! I find that soups in general are difficult to photograph, but I think this one takes the cake! For some reason, I recently had a hankering for some split pea soup. I found this a little odd, seeing how I've only had split pea soup one other time, and that was years ago. When I mentioned this craving to my friend Maggie, she recommended this Food Network recipe that she's made before. Funnily enough, the day before I planned to make this soup, Joanne posted an equally excellent-sounding split pea soup. I went with the Food Network recipe this time, but I'm also anxious to try Joanne's, which features chicken sausage in it. This version was all about the bacon, an ingredient that is quickly growing on me! For a vegetarian meal, you could omit, but I was a big fan of the smoky bacon bits (the real stuff!) I included.

This soup is fast, frugal, and freezes well. How's that for some alliteration?  I ate some of this after making, but froze the rest to pull out on a non-cooking day. If you choose to do this, just allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and reheat before serving. We (hopefully!) only have a few more weeks of "soup season" left, so make this while you can!

One Year Ago: White Chili

Split Pea Soup
adapted from Food Network

-1/2 lb bacon, diced (or real bacon bits)
-1 medium onion, chopped
-4 carrots, chopped
-4 celery stalks, chopped
-salt & freshly ground pepper
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-1 tbsp cumin
-1 lb green split peas, washed
-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1. Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat, until lightly browned (approximately 6-8 minutes). Remove bacon from pot and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Add onion, carrot, and celery to the pot. Add a pinch of salt & pepper; saute until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic and cumin, cooking for 1 minute.
2. Add peas and chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peas are al dente (approximately 20 minutes). Allow to cool for 5 minutes. 
3. Remove 3 cups of peas and set aside while using an immersion blender to blend the remaining amount. Return 3 cups of peas to the soup. (If you prefer a creamier soup, just blend it all!) Stir in bacon and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.