This makes a ton of soup, and you can freeze it at will. This is the kind of soup that just sells itself, that hits the spot, that has so much flavor and such a high level of comfort-foodness that you instantly feel better about life while eating it. If that’s overselling it, I’m sorry, but my family never can get enough of these bean-grain-sausage concoctions.
Also, you’ll see that two different starches are called for, rice and Israeli couscous. There is no reason for this other than I had a bit of couscous left, but not enough for the whole batch of soup, and I also love soups with a bounce-up of textures in them. You could use all rice, or all couscous, or any other grain you want to play with from spelt to farro. The spit peas get quite soft, giving this soup an appealing almost porridge-like texture.
I topped the soup with pumpkin seeds for extra texture (pine nuts would also be good), and a hefty sprinkle of Parmesan. Any hard grating cheese would be great, rom Pecorino Romano to Grana Padano.
I think of all the foods I am sorry to see go when the weather gets warmer (clearly not an issue at this exact moment), soup is top of the list. You’ll not hear me complaining as winter breathes it last gasps – but as the weather changes I do try and get as many soups in under the wire as possible. Smooth Roasted Butternut Squash and Fennel Soup, addicting Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, hearty Cheesy Rutabaga and Parsnip Soup, lemony Avgolemono Soup. This chunky Red Lentil, Fennel and Chicken Slow Cooker Soup is an all time favorite.
Leek, Chicken Sausage and Split Pea Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 leeks white and light green parts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 cups less-sodium chicken stock
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups split peas
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- ½ cup Israeli couscous
- 1 pound cooked chicken sausage halved lengthwise and sliced
- Pumpkin seeds and grated Parmesan for serving, optional
- In a very large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 8 minutes until they are wilted. Raise the heat to high, add the broth and the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the split peas, return to a simmer, then lower to the heat simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes.
- Add the rice and simmer for another 10 minutes, then add the couscous and the sausage and simmer for another 15 minutes until the grains and the peas are tender. Ladle into bowls, and top with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan as you like.
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