Ingredient List Print Recipe
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound Polish kielbasa links or other Eastern European-style sausage
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup fennel, trimmed and sliced
- Sea salt
- Handful of fresh thyme leaves, wrapped in a bouquet garni
- 2 cups carrots, halved and sliced
- 2 cups celery, sliced
- 1 meaty ham hock or smoked pork shank
- 3 cups escarole, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups green split peas
- 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- Freshly ground white pepper
- White vinegar, hot sauce and crusty bread, for serving
Kielbasa Split Pea Soup
My grandma started making a version of this almost 50 years ago, using kosher hot dogs and her mom’s pea soup recipe. Suffice it to say, it’s changed. Make it with your favorite Eastern European sausage—kielbasa, Krakowska and Ukrainian all rock in this soup. I like to use a mix of sausages from Kramarczuk’s in Minneapolis, an iconic restaurant and deli, serving Eastern European sausages and comfort classics for more than 50 years.
Toast the caraway seeds over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Finely grind the seeds in a spice grinder.
In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the sausage and cook over moderate heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate and reserve.
Add the onion and fennel to the pot. Season with salt and cook for 4 minutes. Next, add the caraway, thyme, carrots and celery. Cook for another couple minutes then add the ham hock, escarole and split peas. Stir and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for about 1 hour.
Remove the ham bone and reserve to a plate. Thinly slice the sausage, add it to the soup and simmer until the sausage is heated through, about 10 minutes. Chop up some of the ham from reserved ham hock and add to the soup. Season the stew with salt, white pepper, a teaspoon of white vinegar and hot sauce. Serve with crusty bread.
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