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Andersen’s Split Pea Soup with Bacon

Andersen’s Split Pea Soup with Bacon

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There are two kinds of Pea Soup – chunky style (where you can see the actual peas and other ingredients) and creamy. Andersen’s makes what is possibly the world’s best creamy version, although technically it is misnamed as “split” pea soup (which usually refers to the other style). The creamy style is a puree, so much so that it’s virtually impossible to find the bacon in this soup. But you can still taste it, which is all that matters.

Andersen’s has a long and colorful history, and the company is now split into multiple entities. I’m not even sure which one actually creates the canned version of their soup, but what’s important is that it’s faithful to the soup served in their restaurants. The ingredients are simple and wholesome, and absolutely delicious. Whenever I find it on sale, I stock up with as much as I can carry.

About the only unfortunate thing with this soup, and it’s true of all pea soups, is that it’s not as nutritious as you might think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not “bad” for you, but peas just don’t have a lot to them. Sure, there’s a little bit of fiber, a little Vitamin A, a decent amount of iron and protein, and it’s very low fat – but that’s about it. Yet on a cold day, nothing warms you up like a bowl of split pea soup, and Andersen’s is one of the best.

Serving tips: Split pea soup is a holiday tradition at our house, but not because it’s cold (we live in San Diego). No, it’s because we usually get a spiral-cut ham every year, and then we use the leftovers in split pea soup (we literally put the entire leftover ham-hock in the pot). It’s absolutely wonderful. But I also save off some of the ham for sandwiches and, you guessed it, Andersen’s pea soup. I recommend chopping the ham into little cubes or strips, no more than an inch long and 1/4 inch wide. I put them in the bottom of my bowl, pour the Andersen’s soup on top, and microwave for 2.5 minutes or so. It’s important to stir thoroughly afterwards, because the ham sinks to the bottom. Any ham can be substituted, such as sandwich meat, although personally I don’t use bacon (too fatty). I also recommend a little fresh cracked pepper on top – it gives it a wonderful kick. Enjoy!

Calories per can: 279 (Caloric Density 0.67)

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