I made this soup with yellow split peas instead of the traditional green peas. I like the color much better but the flavor is exactly the same. If you prefer green split peas don’t hesitate to use them instead.
Makes about 6 Quarts
2 12-Ounce Bags Yellow Split Peas
1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage
2 Cups Diced Spanish Onion (About 1 Large Onion)
4 Cups Diced Celery
4 Cups Diced Carrots
3 Cups Diced Sweet Potato
6 Garlic Gloves, Finely Minced
2 Tablespoons XVOO
3 Teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Homemade Croutons, CrèmeFraiche and Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
In a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat the XVOO and add the Italian sausage. Brown the sausage on all sides. Remove from the pan and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper and gently sauté the vegetables until the onion begins to become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sweet potato and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes more. Add the split peas and cook for two minutes. Add the ham stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes covered with a lid, stirring often to be sure the mixture does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the diced Italian sausage and cook for 30 minutes more or until the peas are soft and the soup is thick. If too thick add a bit of the stock to thin. (I like to cook the soup with a lid half way on the pot. This helps to keep the soup from reducing too much.) Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve the soup in warm bowls with croutons and topped with a dollop of Crème Fraiche and a sprinkle of chopped fresh Italian parsley.