Split pea soup is a “stick to your ribs”, hearty soup. I make it with turkey kielbasa (Polish sausage), which turns it into a great winter’s meal.
(In Adelaide, Australia they serve green split pea soup with a meat pie floating in it. You buy it from street vendors and, as odd as it sounds, it’s actually delicious!)
Split pea soup, like all soups, has a flexible ingredient list. For this recipe you will need:
- 1 pound of green split peas
- 4 medium leeks
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 pound of Polish Turkey Kielbasa
- 2 Tablespoons of Fresh chopped lemon thyme
- Zest from one lemon
- Juice from one lemon
- Salt and Pepper
Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in large pot. Add the dry leeks and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
As the leeks are cooking, “sort” the dried split peas. That means to look through them to make sure no tiny stone ended up in the bag. (Many dry beans need to be soaked for several hours or overnight before you can cook them. YOU DO NOT NEED TO SOAK THE SPLIT PEAS FOR THIS RECIPE, or any recipe for that matter.)
Then rinse them under cool, running water.
Bring the pot to a boil and then turn it down to simmer. Cover the pot and simmer it for about 1 hour, giving it an occasional stir.
The peas are going to get totally soft and mushy, and the leeks are going to cook down completely. The soup is going to get really (really) thick.
Cut the turkey kielbasa into bite size pieces and add it to the pot.
Simmer the soup for about another 10 minutes. The sausage is already cooked so we are mostly just heating it through.
While the soup is simmering, chop the fresh lemon thyme. This has a wonderful, fresh, lemony flavor that adds such a lift to this soup! Pull the tiny leaves off the stem. Discard the stem and chop the leaves up.
I also like to add the juice of one lemon along with the zest.
Turn off the stove and add the lemon zest, juice, and lemon thyme. Give it a taste to see if it needs some salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add some more chicken or vegetable stock to thin it down a bit.
The soup is ready to serve!
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