If you didn’t grow up eating this soup, it might not be one of your favorites. I know it’s not the prettiest soup (its green color alone can be somewhat off-putting), but it sure is delicious! I use turkey bacon not only for smokiness in this dish, but I also like to use it for a crispy garnish; if you want to make this vegetarian (actually vegan), you can omit the turkey bacon and make sure the bouillon or stock you’re using is vegetarian or vegan.
Split Pea Soup
Serves about 8
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices turkey bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups split green peas, picked over and rinsed
8 cups water*
2 vegetable, chicken, or beef-flavored soft bouillon cubes*
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 large carrots, scrubbed, peeled if desired, and chopped
3 large stalks celery, chopped
1 large potato, scrubbed, peeled if desired, and chopped
Heat the oil over medium heat in a 5-quart lidded pot; add the turkey bacon and sauté until crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove 3/4 of the turkey bacon to set aside for topping the soup. Add the onion to the same pot with the remaining 1/4 of turkey bacon; sauté until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
Add the split peas, water, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, marjoram, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down, cover the pot, and simmer until the peas form a smooth soup, about 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, and potato; cover the pot, turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve with the reserved turkey bacon sprinkled on top.
* If you prefer, instead of 8 cups of water and 2 bouillon cubes, you can use 8 cups of low-sodium stock and add salt to taste.