Split Pea Soup

Adapted from David Lebovitz, Living the Sweet Life in Paris Blog

2 slices of your favorite bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, not too fine

1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock (very umami)

1 bay leaf (I use Morton & Bassett.) 

2 potatoes (russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and cubed

300 grams dried split peas (1½ cups), washed and scoured for stones

7 to 8 cups of water (Start with 7.)

Black pepper

I find that the Vegetable Stock makes it salty enough. If you don’t, add salt to taste as it’s cooking.

Sour cream for serving (I use Breakstone Full Fat.)

Homemade garlic croutons are a nice touch as is toasted bread served with a sliver of blue cheese, which is David's great idea.  

Cook the bacon until crisp in a large soup pot. Remove the bacon and set aside to crumble over the soup before serving. Add the olive oil to the pot. Heat it a little, and add the onion and carrots. Cook until the onion is wilted, then add the garlic, bay leaf, cubed potatoes, and the split peas. Sprinkle generously with black pepper and stir.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, and put a cover askew on the pot. Stir occasionally. As it’s cooking, if you notice it’s thickening more than you like, add a little more water to get it the way you like it. 

The soup is ready when the peas and potatoes are soft. This generally takes about 45 minutes. When it is, remove the bay leaf. Leave the soup chunky or puree it - you choose. 

Serve with crumbled bacon bits and dollops of sour cream. Leftovers usually need to be thinned with water.