The Pacific Northwest was visited this week by a pre-Christmas snow and ice storm. Basically, daily life as we know it has ceased and people just stay home where it’s safe and warm. Schools shut down and some businesses close until the weather warms up and the ice melts off. Husband grew up in a rural town that got a lot of winter snow so he knows how to drive in the snow and ice. Most of us in this area, however, don’t. I’m sure it’s entertaining for anyone from a part of the country where the winters are really brutal.
Yesterday was our third day into the “stay-at-home-because-there’s-ice-and-snow-outside” weather and I had to make due with what I had in the fridge and pantry. I wanted to cook a pot of warm, hearty soup but most of the recipes I looked at called for ingredients that I didn’t have. Fortunately, I ran across a recipe in my “SOUP” file for Split Pea Soup with Sausage and Potato. Since I had all the ingredients, I immediately went to work chopping and dicing. The only ingredient I had to step outside for was the fresh rosemary. I have a big rosemary bush planted in the backyard but I didn’t feel like tracking through the snowy grass to get to it. I decided to pluck a few branches off the little rosemary Christmas tree that I had potted at the front door instead. I didn’t realize, however, how icy it was outside and had to catch myself from falling when I took my first step onto the front door mat. Fortunately, I caught myself and was able to gingerly step across the icy walkway to the icicle-covered rosemary plant. I’m not sure if the rosemary plant will recover from the icy weather but at least it survived long enough to season my delicious split pea soup.
I followed the recipe as written except I used a German smoked sausage instead of the spicy sausage, and added a stalk of chopped celery and one chopped carrot to the sauteeing vegetables. The soup was the perfect compliment to a snowy stay-inside day.
Split Pea Soup with Sausage and Potato
– recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine
Makes 4 to 6 servings
5 fully cooked spicy smoked sausage links (such as andouille or hot links), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 12-ounce russet potato, peeled, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/4 cups green split peas, rinsed
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
Sauté sausages in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until fat begins to render, about 4 minutes. Add potato, onion, and rosemary. Sauté until onion is soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in split peas, then broth. Bring soup to simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes. If desired, thin soup with water by 1/4 cupfuls. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve.
For a less spicy (read: more kid-friendly) sausage, choose Kielbasa or garlic sausages.
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