I love not only how flavorful this soup is, but how very beautiful it is. With the color contrasts between the yellow split peas, the dark green kale, and the bright red tomatoes, it is a very striking soup. The basil, cumin and sausage make it very flavorful. Altogether a lovely soup for a chilly night. We slurped it up with delight.
This soup will be part of the Nourishing Soups and Stews Carnival that I will post later Tuesday night. Please come back later to join that!
A few notes on the ingredients. I used fresh tomatoes, as I love how they look in a soup and I like to avoid the chemicals in canned food. However I am sure that you could substitute a 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes. I used mild Italian sausage (a very nice, custom made one that I can buy locally). You can use whatever type you like best, hot would be good as well. Chicken or turkey sausage would work beautifully and I am sure that this soup would still be good even without the sausage for a vegetarian/vegan soup, as well.
I used lacinato kale once again, which is so easy to cook with. But if you use regular kale, you will want to strip the leaves off of the stems. You could also experiment with using different legumes, such as lentils.
All to say, you have options!
Yellow Split Pea, Kale and Italian Sausage Soup
2 cups of yellow split peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 onion, peeled and chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
I bunch of lacinato kale, washed, tough stems cut off and coarsely chopped
2 large tomatoes, washed and chopped into large chunks
3/4 pound of mild Italian sausage, in ground form, or casings removed from link form.
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, When hot (though not smoking) add onion and cook until just starting to soften (make sure you stir during this process).
2-Add garlic and cook one minute. Then add the yellow split peas, 8 cups of water, and the dried basil and cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 30-40 minutes, until the yellow split peas are soft (but not mushy).
3-Add the kale and tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the kale is soft. Meanwhile, fry up your sausage in a saucepan over med-high heat, stirring the meat and breaking up clumps, until cooked all the way through. If there is any fat, drain away.
4-Add the sausage and vinegar and add about 2 teaspoons of sea salt and one teaspoon of pepper and adjust to taste. Enjoy!