Friday, 6 May 2016

Yellow or Green Split Pea Soup

Serves 2
Preparation time:  No more than 5 minutes
Cooking time:  55-60 minutes, or 30 minutes if using tinned mushy peas

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 100g green or yellow split peas, washed under the cold tap and drained 
  • ¾ litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf (not essential)

  1. Chop all the vegetables into slices, chop the bacon into smallish pieces and chop the garlic fine.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the bacon to the oil in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes or until it’s beginning to crisp. 
  3. Remove from the pan and set on one side. 
  4. Add the onion to the oil and fat in the pan and cook on a fairly low heat for about 5 minutes until it starts to soften. 
  5. Add the garlic, carrot and celery. Cook this mixture gently for about 5 minutes. Add the split peas, the stock and the bay leaf. 
  6. Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes. 
  7. Remove the bay leaf when the soup is cooked, liquidise it and garnish with the bacon. If you don’t have a liquidiser, mash the vegetables with a potato masher. The result will be just as good.

Alternative with tinned mushy peas
This soup can also be made with pre-cooked mushy peas, which cuts the cooking time considerably. Follow the instructions given above but don’t bother with the celery (which can take a while to cook). Cook the vegetable mixture in the stock for about 20 minutes, then add the tin of mushy peas and heat through. Finish off with the bacon, as above.

Most of us buy bacon vacuum-packed in plastic. The instructions on the pack usually tell you that once the pack is open it must be eaten within 2-3 days. This is very cautious and in my experience bacon can be kept in an open pack for several days in the fridge. After this time it’s a good idea to freeze it. If you are not going to eat the remaining bacon at one sitting, divide it into servings of 2 or 3 rashers and wrap each serving in cling film, then store the servings in the original packaging in the freezer. Take them out to cook as you need them. They can be chopped and cooked straight from the freezer and will only take a little longer to cook.

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