Recipe: Split Pea Soup a la Trader Joe's

Photo: thebittenword.com/Flickr/Creative Commons License

There was a time, 'round about a few years ago, when Trader Joe's sold bags of mixed green and yellow split peas. On the labels of these bags was a recipe for split pea soup. It was the simplest-looking recipe ... and it was perfection. I wrote it out here for everyone who misses it, and everyone who never got to try it. It's very simple -- amazing how much flavor can be wrung out of bacon and rosemary -- and it feeds a crowd. (I often make a full recipe and put most of it in the freezer.) You can top it with bacon, as in the picture, but it isn't necessary. Please enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Rosemary
Makes 8-12 servings

8 bacon strips, chopped
2 onions, diced
6 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cans (15-oz cans) low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
3 ½ cups green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp dried rosemary
Salt and pepper

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Saute bacon in a heavy large stockpot over medium-high heat until browned. Do not discard grease. Add onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Add broth, peas, and rosemary and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until peas start to break down, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid for last ½ hour while simmering. When soup has reached desired consistency, season to taste with salt and pepper.

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