Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 24 Dinner - Simple Split-Pea Soup with Herbs de Provence

Split-pea soup doesn't seem to be very popular any more.  Maybe it's the color, or the many watered-down, flavorless versions available in cans, but it isn't really a soup that anybody gets excited about.  For me, it is a go-to soup when I want to make something that requires little effort and attention, and it uses mostly pantry-staples so it's inexpensive to put together!  Not only that, but with the right seasoning and a nice hint of pork, split peas can really taste fantastic and they fill you up quite nicely.

This soup, because of it's simplicity, is also a great template for a huge diversity of variations.  You can add sliced rainbow carrots, chopped fennel, garnish with crispy kale or add chopped kale, add diced potatoes or sweet potatoes, or you can throw in any extra vegetable you feel like.  The herbs de provence give the soup a hint of sweetness and make it delightfully fragrant. 

Simple Split-Pea Soup with Herbs de Provence
serves 4

1 tsp. olive oil
4 french sausages (or any mild-flavored sausage)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cups dried split-peas
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 T herbs de provence
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Remove sausage meat from casings and add to pot in small chunks.  Add onion and saute until sausage is browned, about 10 minutes.  Add split peas, stock, and herbs de provence and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer the soup until peas are very tender and the soup is thick and chunky, about an hour.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with whole-wheat toast or cornbread, if desired.

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