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Pea Soup with Bacon Brittle

Chef Neil Higginson,
Fort Gibraltar

Traditional French fare goes glam with crackling crisp, deluxe bacon brittle.

Bacon Brittle
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup rendered bacon, matchstick cut

Horseradish Crème Fraîche
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pea Soup
3 cups split yellow peas
1/2 lb bacon
3 medium-sized carrots, chopped
2 onions, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 ham bone
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp thyme

Bacon Brittle
1. In a heavy two-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, corn syrup, salt and water to a boil.
2. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set candy thermometer in place and continue cooking.
3. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300˚F, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
4. Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter, baking soda and rendered bacon.
5. Pour immediately onto cookie sheet.
6. Using two forks, lift and pull mixture into rectangle about 14″ by 12″. Cool and snap into pieces.

Horseradish Crème Fraîche
1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hr.

Pea Soup
1. Rinse peas as per instructions on bag.
2. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, gently brown bacon.
3. Lower temperature to medium and add carrots, onions and celery. Sweat and then add remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature to low.
5. Cover and simmer for about 2 hrs, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove bone, cut off remaining meat and add meat back to soup.
7. Drizzle bowls with horseradish crème fraîche and garnish with bacon brittle.

Yield 6 servings

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