Pour the vegetable broth in a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling add the split peas and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes.
While the peas are simmering, place the bacon in a cold, deep skillet and place the skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until very crisp. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the bacon out of the pan and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
Pour all but 2 tbsps of the bacon fat into a glass jar and set aside. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onion and a healthy sprinkling of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the onions for 5 minutes or until just translucent.
Stir the garlic into the onions and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan. Stir in the rice and increase the heat to medium. Toss the rice until you can hear it crackling.
By now the split peas should be tender but retain their shape. Ladle some of the broth and split peas onto the toasted rice. Stir until the liquid is completely absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock and split peas. This should take roughly 30 minutes.
Once the stock is fully integrated and the rice is creamy. Take the risotto off of the heat and stir in the kale, cheese, and cream. Keep stirring until the kale wilts and the cheese has melted completely.
Divide the risotto amongst four bowls and top with the reserved crispy bacon and an extra sprinkling of cheese. Serve immediately.