1.26.2010

Yellow Split Pea Soup - Recipe


This is one of those soups that will warm you to the core. Yellow split peas are rich and buttery. They cook down to a thick porridge like consistency.

I've noticed that split peas are kind of hard to find.  They are usually located near the canned and dry beans, in one pound bags.  If you can't find them near you stock up the next time you get to a bigger grocery store.  These little unassuming peas are worth the trouble.

Normally I use a chicken stock as the base however, I have some locally produced bacon on hand for a recipe I want to try that I saw over on Closet Cooking.  Buying bacon was a bit of splurge, but I'm doing really good with the grocery budget.  The bacon adds some savory smoky flavor that I am really enjoying. It makes the soup heartier. It makes me think of Gone With the Wind when Scarlet finds out Johny Galigar is selling off the food she sends over for the men working the saw mill. "Without side meat, beans have got no strength," she tells him. Well this soup has strength.

I fried up the bacon and left all the dripping in the pan to sauté the vegetables.  To add some different textures I also threw in an onion, garlic, carrots and spinach.  (I think chard or kale would be even better, but they were out when I went to the store.) Then I added water and the yellow split peas.  And let everything cook together until the peas were falling apart.  Then I took the soup off the stove and added the bacon back in.  I didn't cook the soup with the bacon because I wanted the bacon to retain its own flavor.  Meat that has been in a soup too long imparts all its flavor to the soup and winds up just being chewy no-flavor bits. 

The finished soup is just what I want on a cold winter's day, or a mild spring day, or a cool fall evening, but probably not a hot summer's lunch.

Yellow Split Pea Soup

1 pound dry yellow split peas
5 strips bacon
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic
1 bunch fresh spinach
3 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons thyme, dry
2 bay leaves

Step 1:  In a five quart pot, fry up the bacon.  Then set the bacon aside and leave all the grease and drippings behind.  Then add three quarts of water, salt, bay leaves and the yellow split peas. Bring the peas to a boil, then reduce heat and cover and let simmer for an hour or so. 

Step 2:  When the peas are starting to turn translucent and fall apart, sauté the carrots, onions and garlic together than add them to pot.  Throw in the spinach, thyme, black pepper and stir it all together.  Continue to let it simmer - until the peas have lost their form and are mush. 

Step 3:  Finish the soup by crushing the bacon into small bits and then stirring it back in.


22 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/27/2010

    Do you think this can be started in a crock pot and cook it on low for 8 hours or so? I've never used yellow split peas, do they cook any differently then the green split peas?

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  2. I'm sure you could soften up the peas to the fall apart stage in a crock pot. I'd probably cook the onion, carrots and spinach separately and throw them in at the end so they don't wind up as mush. Or at least the carrots. But I really hate super mushy carrots. If you don't mind them mushy you could throw all the ingredients in together. I'd still keep the bacon separate and stir it in right before you serve.

    Yellow and green split peas cook about the same. I like the yellow ones better, they have a buttery-er flavor and the yellow is attractive.

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  3. argh, tried to comment last night:
    I was making chicken soup for dinner, but didn't have enough for the two of us, so i added some kale and sorrel from the garden, some more water, and about a cup of yellow split peas. Those peas really are the best solution to every soup - add body, yummyness, texture, fillingness. Love them!

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  4. This sounds absolutley incredible! I am new to your blog but I share your passion for eating well on a tight budget, plus soups are a great way to sustain you throughout the week. My husband and I will certainly me making this one! thank you!

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  5. Mmm, I think I'm going to have to try split pea soup for the first time. The green version always looks so gross to me, but this stuff looks super yummy.

    @Miranda - "kale and sorrel from the garden" I'm so jealous! I wish I had access to my snow buried garden...

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  6. I just tried this recipe out for dinner tonight. So tasty!

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  7. Yummy! Looks so delicious. I love every soup recipes. Thanks for this recipe. It sounds tasty. I would like to make it today with meal.

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  8. this looks great! can't wait to try it!

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  9. Yum! And nice photos! I am trying more of a traditional dal, but this looks great! My only frustration is that the peas are cooking and cooking and are still hard! How long do you cook them?
    Enjoying your blog...

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  10. Beautiful soup! I love a good hearty bowl of bean / pea soup

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  11. This is one of my childhood soup, but I never made one by myself. I'll definitely going to try it out!

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  12. Mmm! I'm not much of a soup person...but this is one that I want to make! Looks amazing!

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  13. We must be thinking alike because I just made yellow split pea soup Tuesday! Yum!

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  14. This soup looks super filling and warming, I think I am just getting into soup making time of year. Thanks for another recipe to try :)

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  15. Great recipes. That yellow is a nice surprise and such and improvement over standard split pea soups -- that's a dreary green if ever there was one.

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  16. Beautiful color. I'll have to file this one away. Bacon makes all the difference, doesn't it?

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  17. well done! congrats! a beautiful plate :)

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  18. I love this soup and keep making it! loved the texture and color of the soup- Looks great :)

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  19. I've made this soup with green split peas in the slow cooker. I'll have to try the yellow ones, with low sodium bacon.

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  20. Love, love, love the addition of the bacon, I always add some to my regular split pea soup and this version looks so buttery and smooth.

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  21. I can't wait to make this...still a little to hot here to make or eat soup. Love Pea soup!!

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  22. I am going to go and find some yellow split peas today! : )

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