I adapted this recipe from one for lentil soup, and called it Turkish because of the Urfa Pepper I used in it, which I found in my local Turkish grocery store. You could also use chilli flakes. If you want to use lentils instead of the peas, you can easily do so and your cooking time will be shorter. You also won't need quite as much water as you do for the peas.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 -6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes (preferably the black urfa variety)
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot
- 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 3 stalks fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 6 -7 cups water
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then put in the bits of bacon and the pepper.
- Sauté for just a few seconds, then add the onion, celery and carrots.
- Cook until the onion goes clear, then add the tomato sauce and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until the tomato sugars start to caramelise.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf and peas, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 2-3 cups of water to cover the mixture.
- Stir, cover the pot and let it simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Add another cup of water and let simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes.
- Keep checking on the pot and adding water a cup at a time until the peas are cooked and the soup is as thin or as thick as you like it.
- This takes about an hour, for me.
- Use a hand blender to blitz the soup slightly, but don't purée it.
- You still want some of the texture of the bacon and carrots.
- Remove the bay leaf and, if possible, let the soup sit for a few hours before serving to help the flavours develop.
- You may need to add some more water, salt and pepper when you re-heat it.
- If you like, you can crumble any extra bacon over the soup before serving, as well as a fresh grinding of pepper.