- 8 slices bacon (about 1/4 pound), nitrate free
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 lb. dried split peas
- 2 1/2 quarts water (plus additional if necessary)
- 1 ham bone with meat, nitrate free
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large heavy kettle, cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Pour off all but about 1/4 cup bacon fat from kettle and cook onions and carrots, stirring until softened.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding 1 to 2 cups more water if soup becomes too thick, 2 hours.
- Remove kettle from heat and transfer ham bone with a slotted spoon to a cutting board.
- Discard fat and bones and chop meat.
- Return meat to kettle and simmer soup, stirring until heated through.
- Discard bay leaf.
- Just before serving, crumble bacon and sprinkle over soup.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 140 minutes