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Split Pea Soup with Pancetta & Garlic Panko

Split Pea Soup with Pancetta & Garlic Panko | Traditional split pea soup gets its rich flavor from simmering with a ham bone, but this recipe goes the more modern route with a topping of chopped pancetta and swaps the crisp croutons for the crunch of toasted panko. The recipe is full of fresh vegetables and easy pantry ingredients. Serve a cup of soup as a warming appetizer, a holiday dinner starter, a cozy afternoon snack, or a tasty lunch with a sandwich on the side.


Yield: Serves 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

2 ounces diced pancetta
½ cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 shallot, peeled/chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound split peas
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons Kikkoman® Soy Sauce
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for serving
2 dried bay leaves
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

For Herb Panko Topping
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
⅔ cup Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Heat pancetta in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until pancetta begins to crisp. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add carrots, celery and shallot to pot and sauté in the pancetta drippings for 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add split peas, chicken stock, soy sauce, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover with lid slightly cracked. Simmer soup for 1 hour or until peas have softened and broken down, stirring occasionally.
  4. While soup cooks, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, panko, thyme, garlic powder and salt. Stir well to coat panko. Toast for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly until the bread crumbs are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
  5. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves from soup. Ladle soup into bowls and serve hot, topped with a few spoonfuls of garlic herb panko, crispy pancetta, and additional fresh thyme.


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