Two soup recipes in a row. This is either a very good thing or a not-so-good thing, but I’m going with it. You see, I make a lot of soups. I don’t know who said it, but I heard somewhere that a true test of a good cook is their soup. I believe that so much, I order soup in restaurants just to judge the quality of the food. If the soup is mediocre, you can bet the food is too. It’s really easy to make a good soup. So if you screw that up, well. You’re not very good at what you do.
Split pea soup with smoked turkey is a very basic recipe. It’s really easy to make, economical and comforting. Swapping the usual ham for smoked turkey gives you a lighter soup, with delicate chunks of turkey throughout. If you haven’t had it this way, and are a split pea fan, you will love this soup. I’m so confident, I say you’ll love this soup even if you aren’t a split pea fan.
When I lived in Paso Robles, CA, I would drive by billboards on the highway advertising Anderson’s, “Home of the Pea Soup”. I found it odd this was a big selling point, but it turns out Anderson’s is a big roadside attraction, around since 1924. They offer unlimited bowls of split pea soup, so I had to try it out. I have to admit, (sorry). I tried the soup and wasn’t very impressed. It has no chunks of yummy things in it.
This soup has lots of yummy chunks. Potatoes, onion, carrot, celery and turkey are hiding in a sea of peas. It’s like a treasure hunt in every bite. Did I just write that?
Adapted from Parker’s Split Pea Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large whole onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 smoked turkey wing (or leg)
- 16 ounces (2 ¼ cups) dried split green peas, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, turkey and half of the peas. Cover with water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, skimming off the foam until it stops forming. Cover and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.
Stir in the potatoes and remaining peas. Cover and continue to cook another 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, remove the turkey and check for seasoning. Add salt if needed.
Remove the skin from the turkey and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and shred or chop into small pieces. Add the meat to the soup (you may have extra if you are using a leg). Serve with crusty bread and extra fresh pepper.