Well, it’s that time of year. The leaves are turning, it’s almost unbearable to wear sandals with jeans (nevermind the fashion conversations that starts), and T-shirts are becoming light sweaters with the odd jacket over top (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). It’s fall. What does that mean from a culinary perspective? A ton of hearty squashes, pumpkins, and root veggies. What is a common way to cook all of these ingredients? Soup. Or stew, but this is about soup. Split pea soup. Sorry stew, but you’ll have to wait for another post.
What was your favourite soup as a kid? Mine was split pea with sausage. It was something my Grandmother made often this time of year. Hers was special and made with a particular kind of sausage that I don’t have easy access to, so I give you Split Pea and Bacon soup instead. Yeah, I know. Isn’t it Split Pea and Ham? You’re right, that is super common, but I wanted bacon and had a package in the fridge that needed to be cooked. See for me, cooking is about what’s on hand, or what is in front of me when I am out. I am horrible at planning meals. Set me in a room with ingredients in front of me though, and my mind is on fire!!
I tried to keep this recipe pretty basic. I wanted the flavour of the peas to still shine through. The bacon worked out perfectly. I cooked the bacon before adding to the soup, so that cuts down on the fat. I generally cook the bacon first, then clean all but about a tbsp. of the bacon fat from the pan before I sauté the veggies in there. That cuts the fat but still allows a little of that wonderful bacon fat flavour to impart itself on the veggies, though I think my Grandmother would have left it all in there. Man it was so good!
Now that the bacon chat is out of the way, we can get on to another important ingredient: stock. I use a fresh butcher stock from a local butcher that I trust and love. I know we don’t all have a butcher shop close by nor do we all have that kind of relationship, but if you do, I highly recommend using that kind of stock. They are generally freshly made and there often isn’t a ton of sodium in the stock. Again if you don’t have that, no problem, you can use a regular beef stock just be mindful of the sodium levels and adjust the amount of salt you add accordingly. In fact I wouldn’t bother adding any salt at all until you have the stock and other ingredients together and have tasted it.
Now that we are talking about cooking, let’s discuss cooking methods. I use a pressure cooker in this recipe to cut down on cook time. A pressure cooker on low pressure will cook this to soup in 15 mins flat. If I were to do this on the stove, I would have to soak the peas overnight, then boil for a couple of hours. I don’t have anything against that method as you can control the consistency of the soup better, but it is more work and takes time. If you have the time, please do it this way. Especially if you enjoy the art of cooking. You can also do this in a slow cooker for the day on a low setting. I leave the choice to you. If you don’t have a pressure cooker but are interested, I highly recommend it. I don’t do everything in a pressure cooker as I actually enjoy the art of cooking, but when in a pinch, it works beautifully!
So give this soup a shot! It’s great this time of year and will definitely leave you satisfied. Don’t forget to try, like, comment, and share. I appreciate all of the feedback you guys can give. Improvement comes from feedback.Print
Paleo Yellow Split Pea Soup with Bacon
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 1/2 cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup celery
- 1 cup carrot
- 1-1/2 cup chopped bacon or ham
- 1-3/4 cup yellow split peas
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp Pepper
- 5 cups bone (or pork or chicken) stock
- 3 cups water
- 4 sprigs of thyme (whole)
- Rinse the split peas in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- If you are cooking the split peas in a pan on the stovetop, put them in a bowl and cover with water to soak overnight.
- Chop the onion into small pieces.
- Chop the celery into small pieces.
- Grate the carrot on the small holes of a box or handheld grater (you can alternatively chop into small pieces).
- Chop the bacon into small pieces.
- Sauté the bacon in the pressure cooker or a pot on the stove (med heat) until cooked and browning.
- Remove the bacon pieces and drain all but 1-2tbsp of the bacon fat.
- Sauté the onion in the bacon fat.
- Add the garlic once the onions are translucent (roughly 3-4 minutes) and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add 1tbsp olive oil.
- Add the carrots and celery and sauté until softening and slightly brown.
- I like to add the split peas at this point and give them a little toasting for a couple of minutes but you don’t have to.
- Add the stock and the water and stir completely.
- Taste the mixture (minus the peas because they are hard!) and add salt and pepper as needed (I use roughly another tbsp. of salt and ½tbsp of pepper.
- At this point you want to bring the mixture to a boil
- Once boiling, if you are using the pressure cooker, put the lid on and set to the low pressure setting.
- Lower the heat to med-high.
- Once the pressure is reached and the steam is coming at a steady stream, reduce the heat to med or slightly below.
- Pressure cook for 15 mins then turn off the heat and depressureize the pot until the pressure indicator is down. Don’t try to open under pressure please!!!!
- If you are cooking on the stovetop, reduce the heat to simmer once a boil is reached and cover the pot. Simmer on low for a couple of hours until the split peas become soft and mushy. If you like some texture to the split peas, simmer for less time.
- Serve and garnish with some chopped chives if you like (or even thinly slices green onion).
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