Even an 8 year old boy will eat it!
When it comes to dinnertime, warm fall soup rescues your taste buds. I have to admit I have always thought of Split Pea soup as an “old folks” - overly thick, blah taste. But recently, on a trip to my sister’s house where I visited her two young grandsons, I changed my mind.
While at a trendy dinner pub the 8 yr old wanted only giant salty pretzel. Grandma convinced him he needed more – he agreed to chicken noodle soup (to go with his pretzel), but that was not on the menu so he settled for the special - Split Pea Soup. I am sure he was thinking he would just eat the pretzel, say he was full - and not have to eat the soup. But the soup arrived first - well ahead of the pretzel. It may have been because he was hungry or bored, but he ate the entire bowl - and he liked it! Impressed, I tasted the soup and knew I had to create the recipe even an 8-year old boy would eat.
Yields: 6-8 Servings
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups diced potatoes
1 pound dried split peas
1 bay leaf
8-12 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound smoky bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cheesy garlic Toast (see below)
For the Soup
Place carrots, potatoes, split peas, bay leaf and at least 8-cups chicken broth in pot; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer approximately 45 minutes. Add onions when prepared.
While peas are cooking prepare onions. Chop bacon and scramble fry until crisp. Remove half the bacon for garnish and set it aside. Drain all but approximately 2-tablespoons bacon drippings from pan. Add chopped onion to the pan and dripping, sauté until onion is transparent and starts to caramelize. Stir in minced garlic and oregano or Italian seasoning. Add onion mixture to peas and continue to cook until peas are tender, at least 10-15 minutes longer (stir frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom).
Cool slightly. Use an immersion blender and puree to desired smoothness (I prefer it on the chunky side). Add additional chicken broth or water to create desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a dollop sour cream, reserved bacon and serve with Cheesy Garlic Toast.
Cheesy Garlic Toast
Slice 1 baguette loaf slices. Lightly butter both sides of each slice. Place slices on baking sheet under broiler until edges just start to brown. Remove pan from oven, turn slices over, sprinkle lightly with garlic powder or garlic salt and 1-cup shredded Gouda cheese; return pan to oven and continue to broil until cheese is melted.