Monday, November 29, 2010

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage and Greens

Confession time: peas are probably my least favourite vegetable. I find them sickeningly sweet and just think they ruin a good dish. My prejudice against peas dates back to childhood and was only reinforced by stories of my dad's pea hatred at a young age. So what am I doing making a split pea soup? I decided to give yellow split peas a try when they kept popping up in Indian recipes. Of course, I had difficulty initially finding yellow split peas, so I bought some green ... just in case ... and then they sat in my pantry for entirely too long. I think I'm okay with peas now ... if they're split peas and paired with a spicy sausage. I didn't quickly find the recommended sausage, so I substituted a lamb merguez and added a little liquid smoke. As an additional warning, this makes a very thick soup and quite a lot of it. I had to thin the soup out a little and I never have to do that.

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage and Green (adapted from

454g dried green split peas (2 1/3 cups)
340g smoked pork linguiƧa or andouille sausages (I used slightly less and a lamb merguez)
8 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
5 Turkish bay leaves
3 to 4 cups coarsely chopped kale

1. Cook sausage in a frying pan, browning on both sides (6 minutes total). Add water, cover, and let steam cook for an additional 6 minutes or so.
2. Combine split peas, whole cooked sausages, 8 cups broth, liquid smoke, and bay leaves in heavy large pot.
3. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes.
5. Transfer sausages to cutting board. Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-rounds (mine were thin, so I skipped the lengthwise).
6. Puree soup using an immersion blender.
7. Add sausages and greens. Thin with more broth if necessary. Simmer soup until greens soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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