Sunday, November 6, 2016

Variations on a theme: Split Pea Soup

I find myself in a position with a lot more time on my hands than I'd like. My day job, which was grant-funded, ran out of grant and eliminated my position. No projects, no money, no Kate. This means right now, I have two jobs: finding a new day job and staying sane. Part of staying sane is finding things to do.

I know I've made split pea soup at least twice since this post, but I can't seem to find the links to the posts. This is rather embarrassing. The good news is, the base recipe worked fine with the tweaks I remembered, and of course I tweaked it again.

The final ingredients list for 4 servings

  • 1 pound dry split split peas 
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced, then cut into half-circles. Rinse well. Rinse again.
  • 2 large carrot, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2.5 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • garlic salt to taste
  • freshly ground peppercorns to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon tumeric
  • 16 oz smoked sausage, sliced to 1/2" pieces

The process was pretty much the same. Lightly heat the sausage on the bottom of your pan for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. You want it to release fat, but not get crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add your garlic and onions, if you need more fat, add a bit of butter. You could, if you had some, use duck fat, I plan to try that some time. Love the stuff, but that's for another entry.

Toss in the carrots and leeks, then add your spices. Tumeric will combine with the fat turning everything a lovely golden color. Stir every 2 minutes are so until onions are soft--you should be able to cut one in half easily with your stirring implement. I use a wooden spoon, but as you wish.

Add the broth, add the peas, stir well. Bring up to medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Stir some more until everything looks mixed. Put the heat down to simmer.

Eat lunch. Do some laundry. Watch some Netflix. Stir once an hour. When the peas are soft, they will begin to split and you're ready for blending. I ended up simmering for several hours because Nexx was scheduled to be home late. 

I prefer my stick blender on high speed for turning the soup velvety smooth. If you have a regular blender, don't add more than 2 Cups at a time and keep a hand on the lid.

About five minutes before serving, stir in the sausage. Ladle into bowls, serve with chunks of Swiss cheese and some crusty bread.

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