A hearty soup that is a meal in itself, warm comfort food – and a great recipe for the slow cooker.
The day/evening prior rehydrate the peas according to the instructions on the bag. (Optional: use canned yellow peas).
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the bag (do not put the uncooked rice directly into the soup since it will absorb too much of the broth).
While the rice is cooking, heat a large deep saucepan, or soup pot, on medium heat. Add the bacon cubes and sauté until browned.
When the bacon is cooked remove it with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Set aside.
Drain all but 1 tsp. of the bacon fat and return the saucepan, or pot, to medium heat. Add the knob of butter and the chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent, do not let it brown.
Add the celery, carrots, leek, salted herbs and herbs to the saucepan. Stir in the peas. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the broth, the bay leaves, the cooked rice and the bacon. Stir to combine.
Cook over medium heat until the broth begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to keep a low simmer and cook for 2 hours or until the peas and vegetables are soft.