Monday, January 19, 2009

Split Pea and Sausage Soup

This is from the Better Homes and Gardens Heritage of America Cookbook. My mom bought this book at Mount Vernon a few years ago. The book is divided into 7 areas of America, highlighting popular dishes from various regions throughout history. This pea soup comes from Utah. The caption with the recipe reads: A typical meal for Mormons traveling westward in the mid-1800s might have included a big kettle of split pea soup, whole wheat bread with comb honey and a lettuce salad with whipped cream dressing.

Greg and I were watching an episode of The Girls Next Door on E! and the girls were on a bus tour and stopped by a restaurant known for their split pea soup. Since then, I've been craving pea soup so when I came across this recipe by flipping through the book, I had to try it. Even though I prefer the traditional ham base with cubed/shredded ham, this recipe sounded just as good.

I picked up some organic slip peas (and couscous for the rest of dinner - the next post, and honey for my tea) from the Newport Natural Foods Store.
1 1/2 cups split peas
6 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic., minced
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oragano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (I used 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup peeled potato, cut in 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 up chopped celery

Rinse peas (I forgot to do this. I'm not used to working with dried beans - even though I know to rinse canned beans). In a large pan, combine peas, broth, garlic, oregano, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, form pork sausage into 25 (I did over 30) 1/2- to 3/4-inch balls; place on a (foil lined) baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until no longer pink. Remove from pan; place on paper towels to drain.

Stir carrot, onion, potato, celery and sausage balls into soup. Return to boiling (can stick to the bottom of the pot easily here); reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover; simmer 10 to 15 minutes more or desired consistency and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Makes 5 servings.

I did not like working with the bulk sausage. And I realized that after bitting into the balls in the soup, they are chewy and gummy. I think maybe just beef meatballs - or no meat - would be better. Make sure the meatballs are small, definitely no more than 1/2 inch in diameter.

I used some chopped onion and chopped elephant garlic that I found in the fridge. I also put in more than 3/4 cup of potato - a heaping cup. I should have added a little more. I also used a lot more chopped celery and carrot which is ok with me because I like a lot of vegetables/texture in my soup. The final soup needed some ground sea salt. And there were some pea shells in the soup because I forgot to rinse the peas.


  1. You'll never believe this, but Jesse and I (this is Bec) saw a friend eating split pea soup and were craving it too! We had no split peas, so instead made a fresh pea soup that was pretty good -- not as good as your soup sounds, but still good.
    What are the chances!?

  2. Couldn't you have said we were watching Ultimate Fighting and you saw someone eating pea soup?

  3. Because similar to House, during Ultimate Fighting, I never think about food or eating due to the blood and painful-looking contortion of body parts. That being said, apparently the Bunny Girls give me the munchies.

  4. Well, this is a timely reminder, I love split pea soup, my mum always makes it, the sausages sound a great addition.
    Well it is still raining in rome so maybe some soup is in order.