In a large pot over medium heat, add bacon and render until crisp. Remove the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate. To the same pot with rendered bacon fat, add the garlic, chiles, bay leaves, and dried peas and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and add the tomatoes. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour until peas are tender.
Transfer about 1 to 2 cups of the peas to a blender and puree until smooth. Place the blended peas back into the pot and stir to incorporate. Add the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Place in a serving dish and dress the peas with the lemon juice, green onions, cilantro and bacon before serving
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence