This is one of my favorite soups. It’s so easy and delicious. It’s a great hearty meal on a cold night – or any night. I know it’s March and spring is around the corner, but we are getting another cold spell and this soup was on my mind. You know what? It doesn’t matter because this soup is spectacular any time of the year. I didn’t know how to categorize it – is it Peruvian? American? Everything?
My Mom is in Peru along with my Tía Renee and Tío Joe. She happened to call me this morning while I was making this soup.
So I asked her, “Mom, is this soup Peruvian?”
Mom: “Well, we are Peruvian and we make it, so yes. It’s Peruvian!”
I laughed. I asked if her Mom used to do anything to it than what I already do because it is such a simple dish. Look at the ingredients – it is only seasoned with salt, pepper, and lots of garlic. My Mom told me that when my grandmother, Mama Maria, would make this soup, she would poach an egg for each of the kids. It was a treat. The soup would simmer for an hour so it would be perfect for poaching eggs. Mama Maria would drop the eggs into the soup and they would turn opaque. Ha! I forgot all about that. I have done that with my family and they loved it. How could I forget?
After getting off the phone with my Mom, I checked back on the soup and it had simmered for an hour. Now it was time to poach the eggs. To be honest, when I make this for my family, I just plop the eggs in and let them poach. But, because I am taking a photo for this blog and everyone is into photos being perfect, I dropped it in and tried to make it perfect. By doing that, it wasn’t perfect. Well, I am tired of arranging things in the pictures to be so perfect they are not real. This is real food so it may not come out perfect. Then I thought, if poaching an egg is too intimidating or undesirable for you to do, just fry one and put it on top. It will be just as delicious if not more. I sometimes serve with poached because it makes me think of my grandmother but I also will serve with fried eggs placed on top.
The soup has to be simmering to make this work. After dropping the eggs into the soup, it will start to turn opaque. The yolk will start to solidify – but, you don’t want it to cook all the way. You want some of that goodness running into the soup. It will all get mixed in the end anyways. No worries. Pair it with the bacon and it’s “¡MUNDIAL!” – “Out of this world!”
What I do as my own spin to my grandmother’s recipe is sprinkle crispy bacon pieces on top. Now that’s a split pea soup!
I use 1 pound of bacon in this soup. I freeze the bacon, making it easier to dice or finely chop. I want many small, crispy pieces ensuring everyone gets some. There still will be fighting on who get what.
- 1 pound bacon, slightly frozen for ease of chopping
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound dried split green peas, rinsed and picked over
- 4 large eggs - for poaching or frying
- In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the bacon until the fat is rendered and it's crispy. About ten minutes.
- Remove the bacon set aside. Try not to eat it all before you finish the dish.
- Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
- Add 2 cups of diced onion. Continuing over medium high heat, sauté the onions until they are translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté just until you can smell the aroma of the garlic -about 1 minute.
- Add in the peas and stir to combine.
- Add the water.
- Add the kosher salt - or salt to taste - and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
- Bring everything just to a boil then lower to a simmer on medium low for about an hour, uncovered.
- Stir the soup. Adjust for seasonings. The soup should still be simmering in order to be able to poach the eggs.
- Crack an egg into the soup. It will start to turn opaque and cook. Continue with remaining eggs. It won't be perfect. I gently scoop some soup to cover the yolk to assist in cooking. Alternatively, you can just fry an egg and set on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle bacon on each serving.
- ¡Al Ataque!
You can fry an egg and serve it on top or just omit altogether.
The soup will thicken as it sits. When heated up, it will loosen slightly again. You can add some water to loosen the consistency.