1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup peeled, chopped yukon gold potatoes
3 cups dry split peas
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Tabasco to taste
1. Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces. Heat a large heavy bottomed stock pot on medium heat until the pan is very warm. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon pieces are done. Turn off the heat. Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve bacon. Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings from the pot.
2. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the stock pot. Add the salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 7 to 10 minutes until the vegetables soften and the browned bits of bacon left on the bottom of the pot loosen and mix with the vegetables.
3. Add the potatoes, split peas and chicken stock. Stir. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, stirring and removing any foam from the top of the soup with a spoon. Continue to simmer the soup for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the peas are cooked. Reduce the heat to low. Add the heavy cream.
4. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend half of the soup. Stir. Add the reserved cooked bacon pieces. Stir. Adjust the seasoning and add Tabasco sauce to taste. Serve.
*If you desire a thinner soup, you may add stock, cream, or water to achieve you desired consistency.
Recipe ©Sally James Mathis Picture© Taylor Mathis