Best Health

SPLIT PEA, BUTTERNUT AND BACON SOUP

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MAKES: SERVINGS PREP TIME: MINUTES READY IN: A LITTLE OVER HOUR

INGREDIENT­S

6 to 8 slices bacon, chopped 1 large yellow onion, chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 1 pound (450 g) butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups) 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) yellow split peas 1 tsp (5 mL) salt ½ tsp (2 mL) curry powder ‹⁄Ž tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne (optional) 7 cups (1.6 L) water Fresh black pepper

METHOD

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook about seven minutes or until crisp. Strain out the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving about two tablespoon­s of the fat behind. Reserve the bacon. 2. Reduce heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring occasional­ly, five minutes or until softened. Add carrots and cook another two to three minutes. Then add the squash and garlic and cook two to three minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the split peas, salt, curry powder and cayenne (if using) and stir well. Add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered and stirring often, 55 minutes or until the split peas are completely soft. 3. Purée with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. If the soup is overly thick, add about ½ cup water. 4. Serve garnished with reserved bacon and a twist of pepper.

Switch it up

Make it vegan by omitting the bacon and using a little canola oil to sauté the onions instead. Serve soup sprinkled with roasted chickpeas or nutritiona­l yeast.

Batch cooking

If you have a big enough pot, double the recipe. Let cool completely, then freeze in two-cup portions for up to one month.

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