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
olive oil
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


  1. Oh, I love split pea soup! I don't make it often because we rarely have a ham hock around, so I am glad to see this version with bacon! Hopefully I'll make it more frequently now

  2. What a great looking soup, and cute mug!

  3. healthy & nourishing soup...

  4. Split pea is definitely one of my winter favorites. I love smoky flavor in mine too (usually add turkey bacon), but I think your idea of smoked paprika is brilliant -- I will definitely try that!

  5. With all this rain we have been experiencing around my way I could definitely go for a cup of this yummy soup!

  6. I love split pea soup! But, it has to be chunky - full of ham (or bacon), onions and carrots! Looks great!

  7. I love the color of this soup! And what a healthy soup with all the vitamins in one bowl! Awesome! :)

  8. I tend to love all things smoky as well and especially soup! This sounds delicious!

  9. I love split pea soup! The smoky flavor from the paprika sounds great with all the vegetables.

  10. I don't remember the last time I had split pea soup, but I do remember how much I liked it. And from your mouth-watering post, I think I better make it soon!

  11. I love the way applewood smoked bacon adds so much flavor to a dish. You split pea soup sounds so good.

  12. I love that you used bacon instead of ham! My mom always makes it with ham and I don't do ham. This I would definitely love!


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