“Pea soup has been eaten since antiquity; it is mentioned in Aristophanes’ The Birds, and according to one source ‘the Greeks and Romans were cultivating this legume about 500 to 400 BC. During that era, vendors in the streets of Athens were selling hot pea soup.‘”
Split yellow and green peas, chicken stock, kosher salt, pepper, country bacon, celery, onion, carrots and garlic.
Pick over peas and rinse. Add to heavy pot with chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rinse and dry thick slices of country bacon, then fry over medium heat, turning often, until fat is mostly rendered. Pour off fat and add the bacon the pot with the peas.
Cook the vegetables in the bacon pan, stirring frequently until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Try not to let the vegetables brown.
Add the vegetables and pepper to the pot with the peas and bacon and continue to simmer, covered, until the peas are tender and begin to lose their shape, about 45 minutes.
Transfer the bacon to a cutting board.
Puree the soup in place using an immersion blender, taking care not to splash hot liquid.
Mince the bacon and stir it back into the soup. Adjust the seasoning with pepper and kosher salt if needed.
Serve with crema and stoneground mustard and slices of hearty bread.
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