Yes Peas!

I’ve been feeling inspired to cook lately, and with the cold weather keeping me indoors more I find I actually have time on the weekends to visit the market, cook and try new recipes.

After posting my Grandma’s healthy rye bread (rogebrot) recipe I was reminded of another one of my favourite “Grandma recipes” – her pea soup.

This recipe is healthy and hearty, and perfect for this time of year.

The base of this soup is dried split peas. Peas are a food that I think have been ignored in terms of their amazing health benefits:

-Peas are legumes, which means they’re high in fibre (good for proper digestion) and folic acid (important for women of child-bearing age).
-They’re a great vegetarian source of protein.
-They are also a source of B vitamins and vitamin C, which strengthen the immune system and can help prevent the flu!
-Peas are in minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese,
-They’re rich in plant sterols, which help lower bad cholesterol levels.
-They’re also a source of vitamin A, which is important for healthy eyes and skin.

The original recipe calls for white potatoes, but I decided to sub in sweet potatoes (it tasted the same), which are high in fibre and less starchy. That means they don’t spike your blood sugar like regular white potatoes do.

If the man in your life isn’t excited about the idea of soup for dinner, don’t worry. This is one of my husband’s favorite meals because it includes sausage (all-natural, nitrate-free chicken/turkey sausages, of course), and pork (antibiotic and hormone-free).

That being said, if you’re a vegetarian or trying to cut back on your meat intake, you can make this soup vegetarian. If you decide to skip the meat, I would recommend adding barley or whole-wheat noodles, since combining a whole grain with a legume provides you with the benefit of a complete protein.

The peas take about an hour and half to soften so this soup is perfect to make on a Sunday afternoon while watching sports. (I’m really appealing to the men now!) Enjoy!

Hearty and Healthy Pea Soup

Ingredients
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, cut into rounds
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
2 turkey/chicken sausages, de-cased
2 large pork chops
2 cups veggie stock
1 organic chicken stock cube
2, 450-gram bags of split peas
Salt and pepper

Method

Chop onion, celery, carrots and sweet potato. Rinse and drain peas. De-case sausages and rinse pork chops.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and saute onions and sausage until browned (approximately five minutes).

De-glaze pot with a splash of white wine.

Remove pot from heat, and fill with water until three-quarters full. Return to heat, add pork chops, chicken stock cube and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove pork from the pot, cut into small pieces and add back to the pot along with the peas.

Simmer for two hours, or until peas are almost soft. Stir every 10 to15 minutes to avoid peas sticking together.

Now add the vegetable stock, and chopped celery, carrots and sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Allow soup to sit for at least an hour or overnight to give it time to thicken. Soup tastes good on day one, but it’s even better the next day. It also makes amazing lunch and dinner leftovers.

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