Simple soups like this earthy green pot are as pure and artisan as nourishment gets. For generations soups like these have fed large families, large communities even, with little bits and bobs that have been harvested and tucked away for a cold dreary day.
Combining legumes like these split peas with a small bit of preserved meat and flavorful aromatics creates something so simple with a flavor that is bigger than the sum of its parts. White beans with bacon, tomatoes, and rosemary might grace an Italian table. Navy beans with bacon, molasses, and spice would welcome a New Englander home.
And this split pea soup, most likely a product of old English cooking, is as easy, nourishing, and delicious as a meal can get. And even with the highest-quality ingredients you can make a whole pot for just a few dollars.
And that, along with its nourishing properties and ease of preparation, is why it has been a staple food for the generations before our own.
- 1 lb split peas sorted
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 strips bacon diced
- 1 bay leaf
- water or stock to cover by 2-3 inches
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a Dutch oven. Cover with water or stock by 2-3 inches and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn to low.
- Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours, stirring periodically, until soup is as thick as you desire and peas are tender. If peas are tender and you’d like your soup thicker, remove lid and turn heat up. Boil, stirring frequently, until desire consistency is reached.
- Season with salt and plenty of pepper.