Recipe: Split Pea Soup

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Soup is the perfect meal for a busy weeknight. I am usually cooking a large pot of some type of soup on Sunday and portioning it out for dinners during the week. Soup is also a great way to use up leftovers that are lying around the fridge, creating a hearty meal that is perfect during these nippy days.

My absolute favorite soup is Split Pea. I am in love with its green color, hearty texture, and simplicity, so I always have a bag (or two!) of split peas sitting in my pantry. This is a true “dump and walk away” soup, which makes it perfect on crazy Sundays when I am trying to organize for the week ahead.

I usually make a vegan version of this soup, but the traditional is always made with ham. My family does not like ham, so I decided to substitute another pork product instead– BACON! It adds a nice salty and smoky element to the final soup that gives it a special edge. You really need to make this tonight!

The soup starts with the bacon. I diced up three strips of bacon and cooked them in a large soup pot. When the bacon was crisp, I removed it from the pot to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. I drained off the excess grease, because we definitely don’t need it–this soup is naturally thick and creamy on its own!

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Then I dumped in all the vegetables–diced onion, chopped celery, and sliced carrots.

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And then I added the split peas! *Note: Please pick through the peas…you don’t want your guest chomping down on a tiny pebble!

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Now pour over the liquid! Since I am adding bacon to the soup, I added a quart of low-sodium chicken broth to the pot. Then I added just enough water to cover the veggies.

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Then I popped in some slices of peeled potato. This will act as a thickener to the soup (plus who doesn’t love potatoes and their high vitamin C content?).

Season the soup with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and a bay leaf. Then pop the lid on, bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook (with the lid cracked) for an hour and a half to two hours until the soup is thick and the split peas are broken down.

A final step is to add in some fresh dill–it brightens up all the earthy flavors of the soup! All that’s left is to dish it up…and garnish it with the bacon pieces.

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YUM. This is a lunch I can totally get behind. Hearty, healthy, and perfect for the cold winter days.

Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Wednesday for new recipes!

Recipe: Split Pea Soup

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1-1 lb bag of green split peas
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced into thick rings
  • 1 pound celery, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2–inch rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Water, to cover
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot set over medium heat, add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the crisp bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all the bacon grease and discard.
  2. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the split peas, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic powder, dried oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Add in enough water to just cover the peas and vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 1 1/2-2 hours until the peas are broken down and the soup it thickened.
  3. Add in the fresh dill and stir to combine. Serve immediately with the crisp bacon as a garnish. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

(1 serving): Calories: 258 | Fat: 2gm | Saturated fat: 0.5gm | Carbohydrates: 50gm | Sodium: 584mg | Fiber: 14.5gm | Protein: 12gm | Cholesterol: 4mg

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Catherine is a registered dietitian, whose love of all things food and cooking started during her study abroad in Italy. She believes that all foods fit into a healthy diet (even chocolate cake), food tastes better when you cook it yourself, and that a well-stocked pantry is a lifesaver. Check her out at Simply a (RD) Foodie.

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