Split pea soup (with bacon and miso)

Oh, how quickly the season and the weather changes!  It's October already and those long, blazing-hot, summer days seem like a distant memory.  The sweaters, the long pants, and comforters are starting to find their way out of the closets and once again, our food cravings are starting to shift.
It feels somewhat symbolic to make a pot of soup to welcome fall.  I make soup all year round and enjoy it whenever possible but at this time of year, when it turns chilly and starts getting dark early, I really want to warm up with a bowl of soup, and I feel motivated to try a new soup recipe I haven't made before.

This comparison won't make much sense but soups are a little like brownies to me.  I generally like them all!  Can you remember the last soup you had that you really didn't like?  I can't...so I know making soup will be rewarding. And this is the time of year when I feel the motivation to try something new.  I chose this split pea soup, a recipe I saw and adapted from the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine.  
The magazine had a feature on "pulses" - dried seeds of plants that we know of in the form of lentils, dry peas, chickpeas and beans.  Those are some of my favorite things - foods that fill me up that I feel really good about eating.  This soup made me think of the many containers of split pea soup I'd pick up at a local lunch spot back when I worked in NYC eons ago.  That soup was thick and hearty, plus quite salty.  That salty/savoriness was likely from the ham hock that you often find in the base of split pea soup.

Instead of ham, there's bacon in this green split pea soup.  Not too much...we're talking 5 slices of center-cut bacon, rendered until crispy, then crumbled and stirred into the soup when it's done.  The idea is to use the bacon grease to cook your aromatics in (which would give it a great salty/smokey flavor) but I opted to discard all but about a teaspoon of it and add olive oil instead.  The other ingredient giving this soup more savory/umami flavor is miso paste.  If you think the idea is intriguing, I'm with you! It made me curious and since I have white miso in my fridge, I welcomed the chance to have another use for it.
No surprise, the soup hit the spot!  The bacon and miso add deep savoriness (you don't distinctly taste the miso) and the soup is hearty, with not only split peas but full of carrots and onions.  It takes about an hour for the pound of split peas to soften in plenty of chicken stock but I think it was well worth the time to make this happen.  I managed to stow a container of it away in the freezer and I'm already looking forward to having it again soon.


Aside from not using all the rendered bacon grease to cook the aromatics and ingredients for the soup in, I omitted the cup of celery called for in the original recipe. While I can now say I like celery (especially in soup), it's not an ingredient I cook with often and I didn't want to buy it - and have leftovers - just for this dish.  I upped the amount of carrots and onions in the soup instead.
In the pot above, the onions, carrots, garlic, and pound of green split peas are being cooked and tossed in with 2 tablespoons of white (mild-flavored) miso.  After this point, add 6 cups of low-sodium (or unsalted, if you can find it) chicken stock along with a bay leaf and let the soup come to a boil, then simmer for about an hour until the split peas are tender. 
I love pre-making a big pot of soup and then having a soup-and-sandwich night.  It's easy, hearty, and comforting - great for fall days and nights.

Recipe:

Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, October 2016 issue

- Approximately 6 servings - 

5 center-cut bacon slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 rounded cup chopped onion
1 rounded cup chopped carrot
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons white miso (soybean paste)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. green split peas
6 cups low-sodium or unsalted chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Optional: splash of lemon juice

Place bacon slices into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is rendered and crisp.  Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain; crumble into pieces and set aside.

Discard all but about a teaspoon of the bacon grease from the pan and add a scant tablespoon of olive oil (alternatively, you could continue to cook the ingredients in all the bacon drippings and omit the olive oil).  Over medium-heat, add onion, carrot, and garlic to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender.  Add miso, salt (amount depending on saltiness of your chicken stock), pepper, and the split peas.  Saute for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add stock and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 1 hour or until peas are tender.  

Discard the bay leaf.  Add a splash of lemon juice, if desired.  Taste the soup, adjusting seasoning, if necessary.  Finally, stir in the reserved bacon.






30 comments:

  1. It is windy and quite chilly over here...this is a perfect soup for the dinner with some freshly made garlic bread..geez..now I am really hungry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally wet and dark here lately too so this soup was right spot on.

      Delete
  2. This looks great and it comes at the perfect time of the weather changing. I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand so this is being added to the menu. Thanks lady in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely been soup weather, Pamela! Hope you stay warm and cozy this season!

      Delete
  3. I love your comparison between soup and brownies - I totally understand. I love soup too especially one that sounds as fresh and tasty as this. Beautifully written and a welcome addition to our fall line-up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - thank you so much, Tricia! Eat well and be well this season!

      Delete
  4. Love the addition of miso. Great idea. Even if you wanted to keep this soup vegan, I bet you would not miss the bacon with the miso base. Loving soups this time of the year and all year around as well. I have a big kettle in the crock pot now but when it is done, I want to try your recipe. Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was struck by that too and curious to see if the flavor would be strong. The miso just meld in and you can't pinpoint it but it adds that umami. I think skipping the bacon is certainly an option.

      Delete
  5. Looks delicious Monica! I make mine out of yellow split peas. I have to try green too and the addition of miso sounds really good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love making soup with yellow split peas because it breaks down so fast. I had never cooked with green split soup and remembered all the bowls I used to buy from that deli spot so I had to give it a go. : )

      Delete
  6. I love soup all year long but especially once the weather gets chillier. I could use a bowl of this yummy soup right now on this rainy and gloomy day. Looks so cozy and delicious - love the miso in here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know..soup is such good food for the soul. Great use of miso, I'd say. You can't detect it strongly at all but it adds a great savoriness.

      Delete
  7. I'm the same way! I make soup all year round but there really is something about curling up with a bowl this time of the year! So comforting and a perfect way to welcome fall! This sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know..it's like a big comfy sweater for the tummy. haha. : P

      Delete
  8. Oh Monica...you added miso in your soup...I just made pumpkin soup with miso, which I plan to post next week...and I am totally laughing at your quote awhile ago..."great minds think alike"...
    I love the idea of miso in this soup...very creative...
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see that, Juliana! I am glad to be thinking along the same page as you are!! Have a great week...weekend will be here before we know it.

      Delete
  9. WOW! This soup sounds so flavorful and delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's flavorful and hearty. I'm glad I tried it. : )

      Delete
  10. This looks so good, just what I need on these autumn days and I love the addition of miso.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This soup is making my mouth water! I love the idea of adding bacon, instead ham:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it looks good to you, thank you.

      Delete
  12. I can enjoy soup all year round as well, love that you added bacon and miso. I bet this is delicious! thanks Monica!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The miso is a great addition. Have a great weekend, Cheri!

      Delete
  13. I love soup season and this looks fabulous! I love that you used bacon instead of ham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a neat recipe from Cooking Light. I really liked the miso and bacon is always good. ; )

      Delete
  14. I cook the German version of this soup (very similar to this recipe) all the time, we all love it, but I've never would have thought to add miso to it. You really make me curious, I like miso a lot, so I have to give it a try next time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds great, Adina. I don't think adding miso would hurt...it just blends in and adds a savory flavor. I hope you give it a try. I'll be thinking about adding it every time I make soup now!

      Delete
  15. Soup is sure satisfying at this time of the year. I'm sold with the bacon and miso. Umami miso is a really great addition. I always have a box of white miso in my fridge. I think I need to make a big pot of this soup now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have that box of white miso ready, too. I mainly use it for fish but seems it's great for soup and so many other possibilities. : )

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...