My mum taught me how to make this soup. It's one of my favourites when the days start to become shorter and colder. If you live in Germany, try to cook some 'Mettendchen' with the potatoes, it gives the soup a beautiful flavour, if you can't find Mettendchen try using kielbasa or a ham bone. You can also cook a ham bone in it for extra flavour.
- In a large pan bring the split peas and water to a boil, then simmer until peas are tender, approximately 35-45 minutes (Don't add any salt at this stage or your peas will take a lot longer to cook).
- If any foam develops on the top skim it off regularly.
- In a skillet fry the bacon until brown.
- Transfer the bacon to a large separate pan (to make sure you get all the flavour and all the brown bits, you can pour a little stock into the skillet bring it to the boil and scrape the bottom of your skillet), add the stock, potatoes and leek, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
- I like my stock to be quite strong, but you can always add another stock cube/concentrated stock at the end for more flavour, you can also add some smoked sausages or smoked ham to add extra flavour.
- When your peas are cooked, add them and all the liquid (again skimming any foam there might be of the top) to the other pan.
- Season with salt to taste.
- The soup can be served straight away (with or without adding frankfurters) or be kept warm on a low heat for a couple of hours, the longer you leave it the better the flavour, and it'll be even better the next day.
- If you prefer your soup to be smooth use a blender until you reach your preferred consistency. I usually use a potato masher to break up some of the potatoes and peas, but not making it too smooth.
- If you have leftovers and find the soup has thickened too much the next day add some more vegetable stock.