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1/2 lb (225 g) double smoked bacon (unsliced if possible)
1/4 cup (50 mL) cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh Thai chili pepper, minced
Zest 1 lemon
1/4 cup (50 mL) good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 medium parsnips, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb (500 mL) dried yellow split peas
7-8 cups (1.75-2 L) chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder
Salt and pepper
Sour cream (optional)


Cut bacon into small cubes (approximately ¼ inch) In a medium frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until brown and crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Cilantro Gremolata:
In a small bowl, place cilantro, garlic, pepper and lemon zest. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt. Cover and set aside in a cool place.

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt butter then add onion, carrot, parsnip, potatoes and garlic. Slowly sauté the vegetables until soft and lightly caramelized (approximately 15-20 minutes), being careful not to brown them. Adjust heat if necessary. Remember to be patient as this slow cooking process builds flavour and depth.

Add 7 cups of stock, peas, garam masala and curry powder to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until peas are tender (approximately 40-50 minutes).

Note: If you prefer a smooth soup you may purée it at this stage. If soup is too thick add some reserved stock.

Adjust seasonings to taste and ladle hot soup into bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, bacon bits and a drizzle of cilantro gremolata.

Delicious served with warm crusty bread. Makes 6-8 servings.

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