Chrissy Teigen here, investigating all your important questions. In today’s report: Why the eff are dried peas called “split”? Turns out that when the main ingredient in this smoky soup are dried and peeled, they naturally split in half. Which makes them cook faster and break up into creamy yummy soup filled with tender carrots and not one, but two kinds of meat. Signing off until next time…
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock, plus 1 cup more if needed
- 1½ cups dried split peas
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 smoked ham steak (about ¾ pound), diced
- Sour cream, for garnish
Cook the bacon in a large (at least 5 quart) Dutch oven or soup pot, stirring until the bacon is rendered and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Lift the bacon out of the pot and transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
Reserve ⅓ cup each carrots and celery for later, then add the onions, carrots, and celery to the fat and cook, stirring, until the onions are golden and the carrots and celery soften, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 additional minute. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium high and cook until the wine is mostly evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes.
Add the stock, split peas, salt, and bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring once in a while, until the split peas break up and the liquid thickens, 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Use a stick blender to smooth out the soup (or carefully blend in batches in a blender and return to the pot), then add the reserved carrots and celery along with the ham. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook, adding stock by the half cup as needed, until the carrots and celery are tender and the ham is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes.
Season with more salt to taste, divide among bowls, dollop with sour cream, and garnish with the reserved bacon.