It’s gotten chilly on the Eastern Shore. Nothing warms the soul more than a bowl of hot soup after a brisk walk. I have some big soup eaters in my family and like to make big pots of it hoping to have left overs. Sometimes my plan works, often it doesn’t.
1 lb. green split peas, rinsed
6 thick slices of smoked bacon chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions, (about 2 medium sized onions)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sized leek, white and pale green parts only
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium sized Yukon gold potato, unpeeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 fresh whole leaves of sage
6 cups low sodium, chicken stock (home made would be best, but I don’t always plan ahead)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Put rinsed peas into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit over night.
Cut leek in half lengthwise. Cut off roots. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Rinse again. Leeks tend to harbor dirt between the leaves. Set aside.
Add chopped bacon to a large stock pot and cook over medium heat until bits are browned. Remove bacon from pan and discard most of the bacon fat leaving about one tablespoon for flavor. Add canola oil and chopped onion and cook until translucent (do not let the onions get dark), add garlic and leeks and cook 5 more minutes. Add carrots, potatoes, oregano, sage leaves, drained peas, chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Simmer gently for 1 and 15 min. adding up to 2 cups of water if the soup is getting too thick. Remove sage leaves and discard. Ladle into six soup bowls and serve with grated cheese.
Bed and Breakfast Foodie