This soup is full of flavor and an easy alternative to traditional split pea and ham soup.
In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, dry fry the bacon until golden brown (you can add a bit of oil if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the carrots, celery, split peas, chicken stock, smoked paprika, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered (Skimming off any foam that forms foam while cooking) for 1 - 2 hours or until the peas start to break down. Check often and stir frequently to keep the soup from burning on the bottom.