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I know it sometimes has a bad reputation, but I actually enjoy a good split pea soup. I used to have a wonderful recipe, but unfortunately I lost it and can’t seem to find it. I came across an old German recipe for it the other day and decided to try it out. The only thing that makes it particularly German is the addition of special little sausages. I’ve given you a few options below depending on what you like and what you can find at the store. I also like that this recipe contains lots of veggies, but you don’t really know they’re there. They sort-of melt into the background, especially the next day for leftovers. I’ve also marked this recipe as a freezer meal. We actually doubled it and froze half of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) split green peas (~500g) (Be sure to use split green peas. If you use whole dried green peas you have to soak them 12 hours first.)
  • 4 ounces thick smoky bacon (~100g), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium white or yellow potatoes, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (celery root is also fine, just use about 100g, chopped)
  • 1 leek, sliced (quater circles)
  • 3-4 ounces potatoes (~300g), diced (mealy/soft-cooking such as russet)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cooking fat (The original recipe called for schmalz, which I used. You could sub just about anything.)
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 4 quarts (4 liters) water or vegetable broth
  • vegetable bouillon powder if not using premade broth (you’ll need enough for about 3 quarts or water)
  • (optional) fresh parsley (maybe about 2 stems, chopped)
  • Ham (smoky and slightly fatty works well)* and/or
  • Sausage (these were surprisingly good in this. The German recipes mostly call for something similar to an American hotdog weenie, but you can use whatever you like)*

*Just think about however much meat you think your family/friends would prefer. Strangely enough, although I’ve always liked split pea soup with ham, I would probably just use the sausage next time because it was really good with the bacon.

Directions:

  • Heat the oil/fat in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook until it starts to brown/cook.
  • Add the onion and cook until they start to turn clear.
  • Add the carrots, leek, and celery and cook for a few minutes just to give them a bit of flavor.
  • Add in your 4 quarts of water/broth and the peas. Bring to a boil.
  • Add in the equivalent bouillon powder for about 3 quarts of water, if using. Also add the marjoram and parsley.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and simmer for about 20 more minutes.
  • Add the sausage (whole) and/or ham (whole) and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the sausage and/or ham and slice into bite-sized pieces. Dump everything back in the pot.
  • Serve and enjoy. It thickens up a bit overnight so you may need to add water when reheating leftovers.
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