Sunday, January 09, 2011

Recipe for Spicy Yellow Split Pea Soup with Italian Sausage and Green Pepper

Spicy Yellow Split Pea Soup
The love affair with yellow split peas continues with this spicy soup!
(Like many Americans, I've been struggling through the weekend wondering what motivates a human being to commit violent acts against innocent people.  The Arizona shootings got closer to home as I learned that one shooting victim was a fellow Blogger and member of the BlogHer Publishing Network.  If you'd like to join in sending messages of love and support for Ashleigh Burrows, click here to visit her blog.  And please read this beautiful post about how we need to detox ourselves from toxic language.)

Last week I was gushing like a schoolgirl over a bowl of Lemony Yellow Split Peas.  My love affair with  the yellow split peas continues with this spicy soup with yellow split peas, hot turkey Italian sausage, and green bell peppers.  This isn't the most photogenic soup I've made, but it was delicious, warm, and comforting.  I added a touch of red pepper flakes to spice it up a little, but you could skip that if you'd like a milder soup.  Please don't skip the ground fennel seed though; it adds a wonderful flavor to this soup.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large heavy soup pot; then saute the diced onion, celery, and green bell pepper over medium heat about 3-5 minutes.

Add the garlic, Italian herb blend, and ground fennel, and saute 1-2 minutes more.

If you'd like the soup to be a little spicy, add about 1/4  tsp. red pepper flakes with the other spices.

While the vegetables are cooking, squeeze the turkey Italian sausage out of the casings and brown well, breaking apart with the back of the turner as it cooks.

When sausage is cooked, add it to the soup pot along with 2 cups yellow split peas and 6 cups chicken stock.

Let soup simmer at low heat uncovered.  After an hour I tasted the soup to see if I wanted more red pepper (no!) and added 2 cups of water.

Continue to cook, adding water as needed, until the split peas are very well done and starting to break down into the soup.  Total cooking time will be about 2-4 hours, depending on how old the yellow split peas are and how soft you want them. 

Spicy Yellow Split Pea Soup with Italian Sausage and Green Pepper
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

1 T + 1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup finely diced celery
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 T minced garlic (or less if you're not that into garlic)
1 tsp. Italian herb blend (a mix of dried oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary)
1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pkg. (5 links / 19.5 oz.) hot turkey Italian sausage
2 cups yellow split peas
6 cups chicken stock (plus more water as needed during cooking)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dice onion, celery, and green bell pepper into very small dice.  Heat 1 T olive oil in large heavy soup pot, then add diced onion, celery, and green pepper and saute 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to get soft.  Add minced garlic, Italian herb blend, ground fennel seed, and red pepper flakes (if using) and saute about 1-2 minutes more.

While vegetables cook, heat the other 1 T olive oil in large heavy frying pan.  Squeeze hot turkey Italian sausage out of the casings and saute until the sausage is well browned, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks.

When sausage is done add it to soup pot with yellow split peas and chicken stock.  Let soup come to a low boil, then reduce heat and let soup simmer.  After 1 hour I tasted the soup for seasoning and added about 2 cups water.  Let soup continue to simmer, adding water as needed, until split peas are completely soft and starting to break apart into the soup.  Total cooking time will be 2-4 hours, depending on how old the split peas are and how soft you want them.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for people to add to the soup if desired.

South Beach Suggestions: 
All the ingredients in this soup are approved for every phase of the South Beach Diet.  Split peas are a low-glycemic ingredient that's permitted even for phase one, but serving sizes are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup for phase one.  However, since this soup has quite a bit of sausage and vegetables in proportion to the split peas, you can have a larger serving for phase one.

More Soups with Split Peas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Split Pea Soup with Ham, Bay Leaves, Epazote, and Red Bell Pepper from Kalyn's Kitchen
Split Pea soup with Ham, Mushrooms, Carrots, and Wheatberries from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegan Split Pea Soup with Challah Croutons from The Perfect Pantry
Indian-Style Split Pea Soup from Lisa's Kitchen
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Paprika from Elana's Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Yum! I love pea soup and this looks wonderful. It's always such a comforting (and hearty) soup when it is really cold out. I like the links to the other split pea recipes too - thanks Kalyn!

  2. Some of the things that go on in this world are absolutely disgusting. I'm just so glad I've found one of the gems in it...this blogging community.

    This soup sounds fantastic in every way! Love the fusion east meets west with the split peas and sausage!

  3. I love the combination of split peas and sausage, especially as a substitute for (what I think is) the flavor of ham hocks that often is in split pea soup. Highlighting the fennel in the sausage with additional fennel in the soup is a great idea.

  4. sounds good, could you cook this in a slow cooker?

  5. Hi Kalyn,
    I just want to say how much your website and hard work is appreciated by so many. I subscribe to your site via emails and I always look forward to your healthy recipes. Thank you so much for all you do!
    Barbara in Toronto

  6. Tracy, glad you are enjoying the links to other blogs. I have fun finding things I think my readers might like.

    Joanne, I agree about the blogging community. So glad you like the soup.

    Lydia, I loved that extra little touch of fennel in the soup. (I love fennel, such a great flavor!)

    Anonymous, you could cook this in a slow cooker. I'd reduce the chicken stock to about 4 cups, then check part way through to see if you need to add some water. I can only guess on the timing, but I'd guess 3-4 hours on high and maybe 6-8 hours on low.

    Barbara, thanks so much for taking time to tell me that. Comments like that really make my day!

  7. I've been meaning to use up some split peas in my pantry for a while now - this is IDEAL. Yum!

  8. Yum! Soup is my favorite warm-me-up food in the wintertime. This recipe sounds fabulous! Going to give a try this weekend.

  9. Hi Kalyn, I visit your site often, but rarely comment.....BUT...had to say how much I love it, and how delicious your recipes look. I'm on weight watchers and many of your South Beach recipes are VERY "point friendly". Thanks so much for sharing them!!!

  10. Kalyn, thanks so much for the heads-up about Ashleigh. I hadn't heard she was involved in the shooting.

    On a lighter note, this soup is fantastic take on traditional split pea soup. Italian sausage really does take everything up one extra notch.

  11. I could not find yellow split peas would green work for this recipe?

  12. Yes, you can use green split peas. The taste is very similar; the yellow ones are just prettier and maybe a tiny bit sweeter.

  13. I got up this morning saw this recipe and was thinking about it all day. Started cooking when I got home and this turned out to be the best soup I have ever was so incredibly tasty!

    My local store didn't have yellow split peas and I had to use green.

    Thanks for a great was perfect for a cold day.

  14. You know, Kalyn, I think this photo is very appealing. It appeals to the side of me that needs comfort food today. There's something home-y and rustic about it that I just love, especially on a winter night. This is a soup to come home to!

    I could just make a Kalyn recipe every day, rename my blog "Kalyn and Mimi" and hope that Meryl Streep will be available for the movie.

    SBDP-1 still good.

  15. Tim, so glad you liked it. Good to know it is still tasty with the green split peas too, thanks for letting us know that.

    Mimi, you are funny. My only question is, which one of us will Meryl be playing?

  16. I have to get me some of those yellow split peas. I am sure I will become addicted!

  17. My wife and I just made this recipe, and it was so darn delicious! We'll definitely be making this on a regular basis now.

    Thank you so much for sharing it [the photos are excellent too].

    Kind Regards,
    John McConnell

  18. Hi Kalyn,

    Thanks again for all the incredible recipes and also for all you work on your blog. I recommend it to everyone I know!!

    In your post you mentioned this soup not being so photogenic, but for anyone who loves split-pea soup, it looks super-yummy! However, here's a thought for if you ever update the pic; a dollop of sour cream (low fat of course;) and a sprig of parsley or other fresh herb might give the pic a bit more intrest.

    You're truely a gem! Thanks again for all the wonderful meals that my family always enjoy.

  19. John, so glad to hear you both enjoyed the soup!

    Angela, thanks for the nice words about the blog and this soup.

  20. This recipe sounds perfect, especially for a cold, snowy day, like the one we're expecting tomorrow. I wish I could make it while I'm holed up at home but don't have all the ingredients. Later, I suppose. I've got to go out sooner or later. ;-)

  21. Paz, stay warm. I heard about the storm in NYC. I do recommend the soup when you get a chance to try it.

  22. Thanks for making note about Ashleigh. I saw the tweet that went out about it. It's devastating what is going on...

    This recipe is definitely uplifting, though! I have never used yellow split peas, despite seeing them all the time at the farmer's market.

    As an Italian, fennel was a staple in our home, as well as fennel seeds. Love it!

  23. Chris I am seriously falling in love with the yellow split peas, and I thought the fennel was a great accent for their flavor.

  24. I didn't have turkey sausage on hand so I used sweet italian that i had. this soup is so good. it it made enough that i did freeze some for one of those nights when i have to run the kids here there and everywhere. thanks for sharing!

  25. Carrie, you're welcome. Glad you liked it.

  26. This soup would certainly hit the spot on these cold winter days!

  27. Just made this for dinner tonight - it was delicious! I was skeptical at first, as I'm very picky about soup, but this recipe was awesome! I'll definitely be making it again!

  28. Campbell, so glad you enjoyed the soup!


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