Feb 08 2011

Split Pea Soup with Bacon (take two!) – Lower Sodium Version!

Published by at 4:28 pm under Gluten Free Recipes

So my Dad loves split pea soup. LOVES it. I have such happy memories of devouring the Habitant-brand French Canadian Pea Soup with Ham, full of lard and salt and…holy frak – check out that sodium!

According to the nutritional declaration, the French Canadian Pea Soup with Ham packs a whopping 870 mg of sodium per 250 ml serving.
The KFC Double Down had 1380 mg of sodium. So basically if you have a large bowl of this Habitant (2 cups – which is easy if you’re eating it as a meal), you are getting more sodium than a Double Down.

That is insane.

And not good for my Dad’s blood pressure. So I decided to find a better way to make this fibre/protein rich soup that is comforting and delicious that I knew my Dad (and I) would love! And even Stefan likes this soup. He likes pretty much anything with bacon in it! (“As long as there are no beans”, he clarifies.)

PLUS this recipe is so ridiculously easy to make and freezes/reheats with elegance and ease! 🙂 And it makes our entire apartment smell soooo good! *mmhm!*

I much prefer this to the previous pea soup recipe I posted (although the rosemary *is* a nice change occasionally!) BUT this is totally the pea soup of my cravings!

What is life if not a work in progress, right? Based loosely off of this recipe from Canadian Living, but with bacon, not a ham hock and not made in a fancy dutch oven. *pff* A plain old pot works just fine.

Dee’s Even Better Split Pea Soup with Bacon

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 tbsp olive/coconut/grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups homemade chicken/vegetable stock (if you must buy, choose a low sodium, gluten free variety!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups dry yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  1. Slice bacon into small pieces. Fry over medium heat until cooked through.
  2. Add oil to pan and allow to heat up a bit. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaves and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add stock, water and split peas to pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Cover and bring down to a simmer over low heat for 1 hour 45 minutes until the split peas are tender and falling apart.
  5. Add sea salt and pepper to taste!
  6. Remove bay leaves & eat!

The recipe suggests blending with an immersion blender, but I really liked the rustic look of the soup! Just make sure you chop the carrots and celery up nice and small and it will be fine. But really – whatever you like. Either way it will taste incredible!

Sodium-wise, one slice of regular bacon has about 240 mg of salt (I know right? Holy salt!) There are 2 slices in this recipe so that’s about 480 mg of salt per *pot* – and it makes a HEARTY 4 servings (like, meal size bowls of soup – probably 1.5- 2 cup servings), so that’s 120 mg of sodium per serving (maybe a bit more depending on how you season it!) But what a difference right? Check your stock as well. I really like using homemade because it gives you COMPLETE CONTROL over things like sodium (I don’t add any to my stock – I add it in later!) But even with a store-bought low sodium variety, which is about 300 mg of sodium per 1 cup, you’re still at 400-500 mg per cup versus the Habitant 800+ mg per cup serving. And this tastes *way* better. 🙂

You *could* buy low sodium bacon, but check the ingredient declaration. If there are a ton of other preservatives, you’re probably better off having the two slices of *real* bacon and less chemicals!

Also – make sure if you’re making it for someone sick that you stir a whole lot of love into it! You can taste the difference happiness makes!

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