With unusual winter temperatures up in the Pacific Northwest ❄️, it is time for a hearty soup to warm up your body, and split pea soup is one of my favorites in the winter 🍵.
Though I have to say, as a child I dreaded the days when my mom told me that we’ll have split pea soup for lunch. I don’t know why, but I could not get used to the taste and texture and always hated this day. I tried to stay at my friends for a play date just to avoid eating split pea soup 😂. To add to that, I found it kindly gross that my dad added sauerkraut to his bowl, it just looked and sounded not delicious at all 🙈.
But now, as an adult, I do enjoy a good bowl of homemade split pea soup 🙌🏼. I did add bacon to my mom’s recipe, because – as we all know – everything is better with bacon ☺️. But I don’t think it’s not just the addition of bacon that I do enjoy split pea soup now. It’s more the general appreciation of ingredients, time and love that goes into making this soup 💗.
So, let’s get started with creating a delish bowl of split pea soup 👩🏼🍳.
- 4 cups of dried split peas
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 7 slices of thinly cut bacon
- 4 medium carrots
- 8 medium Yukon Gold (yellow) potatoes
- 40 oz water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 teaspoons Vegeta
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- Optional: Sauerkraut; Vienna sausage or other protein to your liking
Soaking time: 2 hours
Prep time: 30 min.
Cook time 1.5 hours
Note: all my recipes are on the larger serving scale. I love to freeze leftovers, as these make an easy to thaw lunch/dinner during busy weeks, when I don’t have time to cook, and I do have a lot of these days in my life.
To avoid cooking dried split peas for 3-4 hours, soak the split peas in water for a min. of 2 hours prior to starting the cooking process (or even overnight). The split peas will soak up the water and double in size. This will minimize the overall cooking time 👌🏼.
While the peas soak in water, you can go ahead and prep all other ingredients. Mince the onion as well as the bacon. I only use the lean part of the bacon to not add too much fat to the soup. Then cut the potato and carrots in small cubes.
Potatoes contain an enzyme, that when exposed to oxygen, reacts to the produce and discolors the surface (turns gray-ish). The quality isn’t compromised and they’re still OK to eat, but the appearance is off-putting. I put the potato cubes in a cold water bath to deactivate the enzymes, so they keep their nice yellow color, until I need them for the soup.
Let’s start the cooking process 👩🏼🍳: first we want to render the bacon and get it to an almost crispy texture. You don’t need to use any oil in your pot. There will be some fat left on the bacon that will coat the pot nicely to avoid the bacon sticking to the pot. On low flame, brown the bacon until almost crispy. Then add the onions and cook for approx. 5-10 minutes until the onions turn golden brown.
Now we can add the carrots and potatoes. You may drain the water from the potatoes first before adding them to the pot, this way you can measure the needed water after you added all ingredients.
Next, add water, salt, pepper and Vegeta. Stir everything well, put the head to medium and cover the pot leaving a small opening so excess heat can escape.
Let the soup simmer for approx. 1 hour, no need to stir, but just double-check once in a while that the pot has enough water, otherwise your soup will burn.
After an hour, add vinegar, bay leaf and parsley. Stir approx. every 5 minutes to ensure the soup doesn’t stick to the pot for the next 30 minutes or until peas are tender. If needed, you can add some additional water, but remember, we want to have a thick hearty not watery soup. If you added too much water (it happens, don’t worry), just cook it a bit longer until the excess water is gone.
Once peas are tender, you can add more seasoning to your liking. Remove the bay leaf and you’re ready to serve.
I add some fresh parsley on top of each bowl. Doesn’t this look just delicious 😍? If this doesn’t warm your body and soul, what will 😉!?
PS: You can add some sauerkraut to each bowl (displayed below). It actually does taste delicious! It adds a bit more of acidity to the dish. If you desire protein, add some cut up Vienna sausage to the soup as well.
TIP: To make the soup even more creamier, I grate one potato into the soup. The additional starch in the grated potato will make the soup even thicker and creamier. I add the grated potato into the soup, when adding the potato cubes.
Leftovers: I freeze leftovers in a Ziploc bag, one serving per bag. I put the Ziploc bag flat in the freezer for two reasons:
#1 – it is a space saver, as you can stack a ton of bags on top of each other and
#2 – it will thaw much faster than having it in a big lump of food only on the bottom of each bag