I have to say, I may never make recipe for split pea soup without chicken again. The shredded chicken adds something beautiful to this soup, a lightly sweet flavor that doesn't compete with the smoke usually provided by the ham hocks. (Though the bacon adds just a hint of smokiness, which is nice.) The texture is spot-on, and honestly, I think this soup recipe is one of the most comforting things I've eaten all year. Definitely a keeper.
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 3hours
Total Time 3hours15minutes
Author Stephanie Stiavetti
One 3-poundwholechickenskinned and cut into eight pieces, with back reserved
4slicesof baconfinely diced
3/4teaspoonkosher saltor sea salt
In a large soup pot, add all chicken parts, carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, and water. Heat just to a boil and simmer gently, barely bubbling, for 1 hour. Occasionally skim the schmutz off the top.
Once the broth is done, strain the stock through cheesecloth into a large pot and set aside. Separate chicken from vegetables and set chicken aside to cool. Discard veggies and wash pot so you can use it to make the soup. Once chicken has cooled, shred and reserve meat. Discard bones.
In a large soup pot, fry bacon over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pan, leaving the fat in the pot. Place fried bacon in a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator until the soup is done.
Add butter to bacon fat, stirring until melted. Add onion and cook just until the onion begin to brown, about 7 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, split peas, and shredded chicken, stirring well.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmering the soup uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, until the peas are soft and the soup is nice and thick. Occasionally scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to prevent burning.
Once the soup is done, stir in honey and salt.
Serve hot, topped with a sprinkling of fried bacon and a spoonful of crème fraîche.
You can easily make the stock for this soup the day before, and just stick both the broth and the meat in the fridge until you're ready to use it.This soup freezes wonderfully, so if you've got a bunch left over, seal well and freeze for up to three months.