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Like everyone else, I crave soup when feeling under the weather. And like everyone else, I am loathe to leave my bed when sick. So I concocted this soothing soup, which is brimming with vitamins and goodness, and is ready in just 30 minutes.

I urge you to try split green peas before winter bids us adieu. They require no soaking, cook quickly, and are inexpensively available year round. You can use a food processor to chop the veggies and bacon, and you can also use the sausage of your choice – even hot dogs would work well here.

1/3 pound bacon, diced
1 large white onion, diced
4 smallish carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
16 ounces dried green split peas (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked smoked sausage like linguiça, andouille or chorizo
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
5 bay leaves
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
Grated cheese for serving (optional)

1. Drizzle a little canola oil in a large stock pot, then toss in bacon. Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is just crisp – don’t overcook. Remove bacon from pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

2. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pot (reserve for another use), then add in garlic, onions and carrots. Saute over medium heat til carrots are soft and onions are translucent – about 5 minutes.

3. When carrots and onions are soft, add in peas, sausage, broth and bay leaves. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are tender – about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. Transfer sausages to cutting board, then cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into half-rounds. Add the sausage and reserved bacon back to the soup and season to taste as needed. Remove bay leaves and serve, garnished with cheese if desired.