My sister has never been one to follow any directions closely. Including Bisquik pancakes and Betty Crocker brownies, she estimates accurately following recipes perhaps a dozen times . . . in her entire life.
Despite all that, she fearlessly took charge of Christmas Eve Dinner. And in so doing, she illustrated what I love most about my family: unconventional, unpretentious, and bucking any but the bits of tradition that truly hold value.
Her inspiration was this recipe, given to her by a coworker (a dietitian). The original garnishes the soup with pumpkin seeds, but true to form, she took a vegan recipe and topped it with ham. The seeds would have added texture and crunch, but the spicy sausage was undeniably awesome.
Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 cups dried split peas
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 lb spicy sausage
- salt & pepper, to taste
Bring 1/2 cup chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent, adding more broth, butter, or olive oil as needed to keep from sticking to the pan. Stir in ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining broth and water, peas and sweet potato cubes, and additional seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Uncover and purée soup with a hand held immersion blender or in batches in a food processor until smooth. Taste for sea and garnish with pan-fried sausage cubes.
- 3 cloves garlic, or to taste (oh, go ahead and do the entire head, you will find a use for the extra)
- 1/2 stick butter, warmed to room temperature
Wrap cloves of garlic in aluminum foil and roast at ~350° for ~20 minutes. Unwrap, peal, and mash garlic cloves. Mix with softened butter.