Split pea soup on the other hand, is a favorite of mine. There is something about this hearty soup that makes my heart warm. I thought it might just be because of the addition of the bacon. Because, in my opinion, bacon can really add to ANY meal. But, no. I think it is the consistency, and heartiness that makes a cold night seem warmer with this soup. (okay, and the bacon.) : )
The potato and barley in this recipe really gave it oomph too. This meal is perfect on its own, or add some bread for a real stick-to-your-ribs meal.
Oh, I tried to get the best pictures I could of this soup, but it just isn't pretty to begin with, sooo...
Split Pea Soup with Bacon, Potato, and Barley
1 lb. split peas rinsed and sorted
2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 cup celery diced
1/2 cup carrots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbs. parsley chopped
7 strips bacon cooked and crumbled (save 1 1/2 Tbs. bacon grease)
3/4 cups barley
2 medium potatoes diced
8 cups chicken stock (or water)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat a large heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add canola oil and bacon grease. When it is shimmering, add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until onion is wilted and almost carmelized. Add the peas, parsley and garlic. Saute for a few more minutes. Add stock or water and stir to combine. Cover pot and let simmer for an hour and a half, stirring occaisionally.
Uncover pot and stir. If you have an immersion blender, blend until creamy. If not, remove about 1/2 of the soup and put into a blender. Blend until creamy.
Add potatoes, barley and bacon and cook another 1/2-3/4 of an hour. Serve and Enjoy!