Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dutch Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage

Here's a recipe I presented in a recent newspaper article (April 18, 2010) on the history of soups. It was in my every-other-week Athens Banner-Herald column, Le Gourmet Fauché. Over the next several weeks, I'll put the other recipes on the blog.

In Holland, this centuries-old soup is usually simmered with a ham or other smoked pork bone. Celery root (“celeriac”) is preferred over celery. After cooling and reheating, the soup can be very thick, like porridge. A traditional garnish for pea soup is “rookworst” [ROKE- vourst], a ring-shaped, smoked pork and beef sausage.

Dutch Split Pea Soup with Smoked Sausage

1 pound (2 1/4 cups) green split peas
6 cups water
1 large bay leaf
1 medium-large onion
2 medium-large carrots
A small celeriac or 2 sticks celery
3 cups broth made from the vegetable trimmings and peels
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus to taste
1/2 teaspoon dry savory or oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra
Small pinch of thyme
14 ounces to 1 pound smoked sausage

Rinse peas. Place in pot with water. Bring to a boil. Skim off foam.

Add bay leaf. Simmer, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pot, until peas start to break down.

Meanwhile peel onion, carrots, and celeriac, if used. Make broth with peels, leaves of celery, if used, plus 3 cups water, simmering 20 minutes.

Coarsely dice the vegetables. Fry them with oil until wilted. Add to simmering peas.

Strain broth into soup. Add salt, dry herbs and pepper.

Simmer until peas disintegrate and vegetables are tender. Add water, as needed, to make the consistency of heavy cream.

Slice sausage into 1/4-inch discs. Add to soup. Simmer 5 minutes.

Taste and add salt if needed. Stir in a generous sprinkling of ground black pepper.

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