This is a very thick and hearty soup, great for cooler weather, and very “stick-to-your-ribs.” It is wonderful served with a nice crusty bread.
The first time I made this, years ago, my kids just kid of looked at it with a funny face. They weren’t too sure about the green color…until they tasted it. My husband ate 5 bowls in one sitting, and ever since when I announce that this is for dinner, I am greeted by a round of cheers.
Another time, my boys had some friends over for a spur-of-the-moment camp out. I had already planned on making the soup for dinner, but thought the boys would want something fun, and made them some pizza. When the friends came over, they asked what I had cooking in the pot, and when I told them, they responded with expressions of horror.
That night as they were roasting marshmallows around the campfire out back, my boys went out with mugs of the soup. They convinced their friends to try it, and moments later, they were raiding the cupboards for mugs of their own. The whole pot of soup vanished…and I was left with leftover pizza.
Ahh…I love converts!
To begin, you need 1 pound of dried, split peas. Put them in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit over night. The next morning they will be swelled up.
Drain the peas.
Now you are going to start the chopping & cutting. Cut up 4 slices of bacon into pieces about 1 inch.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in your Dutch oven or soup pot.
Toss in the bacon and let it start cooking.
Dice up a medium onion…
…4 stalks of celery ( about 1/2 inch pieces)…
And now shred 3 good-sized carrots.
About now, your bacon should be good and brown. This looks on the verge of burning, and that is perfect. The bacon will soften as the soup cooks.
Toss all those goodies into the pot.
Now you need a pound of breakfast sausage.
Add it to the pot and begin breaking up the meat.
The sausage will begin to cook, and everything will be mixed together.
Now add in your soaked & drained peas.
Stir it all together and add 4 cups of chicken broth.
Add to that, 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder, a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper and a half teaspoon of salt.
Then add 3 cups of water.
Bring this up to a rolling boil.
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and put the lid on it, slightly cracked.
Now, depending on how “gentle” your gentle simmer is, you could have to add a tiny bit of water to this. Periodically give it a stir and check on it. But if you have it at just the right temperature, the surface of the soup is just barely moving as it simmers…your soup will be done in 2 hours, without the need to add additional liquid.
2 Hours later, you have a delicious and hearty soup.