1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel; crumble. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan; discard excess drippings.
2. Add potatoes to drippings in pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until slightly brown. Add broth and peas to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Place 4 1/2 cups soup in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed soup to pan; add half-and-half and pepper. Heat 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup evenly into 6 bowls, and top evenly with crumbled bacon.