I love trying out new pulses and grains but don't often have much a plan for what to do with them. You can't go wrong with a soup or a stew though and this Split Pea and Bacon Soup was a resounding success, as well as being a great way of clearing out the veg box in the fridge !
Split Pea and Bacon Soup
300g split peas
1 large onion
250g bacon lardons
3 medium potatoes
1 ham stock cube (chicken or veg would be fine too)
salt, pepper, garlic granules, mild curry powder (optional)
Peel and chop the veggies. Fry the bacon in a large pan and when it's released some fat, add the onions to cook. You don't want to brown them, just soften them.
Add the carrots and potatoes chopped into bite-sized chunks and cook for ten minutes, stirring every now and then to stop them sticking or burning.
Add the split peas and leeks, along with the stock cube, added to enough boiling water to cover all the ingredients. Unlike some dried beans and pulses, split peas don't need soaking, which is good news if you haven't planned ahead. They need about 40 minutes to cook but after half an hour, they were tooth tender and just the way I like them.
Simmer for about half an hour, adding a little extra water as needed. You can blitz it with a hand blender if you want a smooth soup, or leave it chunky like we did. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve with a chunk of crusty bread. Perfect comfort food on a chilly evening with the wind howling outside !