Thick as Pea Soup

March 9, 2009

I'm a textural eater and need the crunch of homemade croutons in my soup

I'm a textural eater and need the crunch of homemade croutons in my soup

I love split pea soup, and I wish I could say this turkey version was borne out of a desire to be healthier and to stifle my pig addiction. In reality, I just couldn’t find ham hocks in the grocery, so, knowing that smoked turkey wings are the secret to the best greens you’ll ever eat, I decided to apply the same principle to beans/peas, and ended up with a split pea soup I like even better than the traditional ham one. I added the turkey smoked sausage because the first question I get asked when I try to feed a certain manly man is “Is there meat in here?” Yes, love, there’s meat.

Smoked Turkey Stock

1 T olive oil
1/2 white or yellow onion
3 ribs celery
3 carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 package smoked turkey legs (you usually get 2 large or 3 smaller legs per package)
1 t thyme
8-10 black peppercorns

Roughly chop onion, celery, and carrots. In a large stockpot over medium high heat, saute vegetables until some begin to brown. Add garlic cloves, lightly smashed, and saute for a few more minutes. Add whole turkey legs, thyme, peppercorns, and water to cover by about 2 inches (approximately 4 quarts). Simmer for one hour or until meat is easy to remove from the bone.

Remove turkey legs to cool. Strain stock through a sieve and return to low heat. Discard vegetables. When turkey legs are cool, pick meat from bones, chop, and set aside.

Split Pea Soup With Smoked Turkey

1 lb. split peas, washed and picked over
1 lb. smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa, in 1/4 slices
2 potatoes, 1/4 inch diced
3 carrots, 1/4 inch diced
1 t thyme
1/2 t garlic powder
Reserved meat from smoked turkey legs

(Continued from stock recipe) To hot smoked turkey stock, add split peas and stir. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, brown smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa slices over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add browned sausage slices, potatoes, carrots, reserved turkey leg meat, and spices to soup. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until peas have disintregrated and potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

To serve, garnish with crackers or croutons and a sprinkling of red wine vinegar. (I grew up putting vinegar in bean soups, so pea soup, to me, requires it, too.)

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