Smoky Split Pea Soup with Thyme Dumplings

Written by chanie on January 26th, 2014

I’m the type of person that crushes on certain foods. Remember my speculoos addiction? Enough said.

My problem is that when I fall for a food, I fall so hard that I eat it the point of being sick.

I remember when I had a thing for those molten chocolate cakes (you know the ones that are on EVERY restaurant dessert menu). I ate my way through so many (I may or may not have been pregnant at the time) that one day, spoon-deep into my chocolate lava explosion, I got so overwhelmingly nauseous (I may or may not have been pregnant at the time) that I couldn’t take another bite. Ever. Seriously – If you so much as put that thing near me, you’ll need to bring an emesis basin with. Enough said.

I used to be gaga over split pea soup too. Every time I went out to eat, be it a restaurant or a pizza shop, I’d order one. I just loved how hearty and filling it was. But then one day, I was all split-pead-out. I literally couldn’t look at the stuff for years. Me and Mr. Split Pea were estranged, and I moved on to Mr. Lentil.

And then, many, many years later (we’re talking double digits here), I read about a popular preparation for split peas using ham hocks to impart a smoky flavor to the soup. Of course ham hocks are off the table in my kosher kitchen, but the idea got me thinking, and whetted my appetite for my long lost favorite soup.

I did some research and found that smoked turkey leg would make a good replacement for ham hocks, adding smokiness and flavor to the soup. The results were even better than I’d imagined – smoky and savory with a deep, rich flavor! Braising the turkey leg also made it buttery soft – it’s meat fell apart instantly and made a great addition to the soup.

To really up the ante, I added some fresh thyme dumpling that meld perfectly into the soup. The results are so hearty, it’s literally a meal in itself.

Thanks to this amazing recipe, I’m a born-again split pea fan and I hope you will be too. And don’t worry, this time, I’m treading carefully.


1 year ago: dried fruit brie bites
2 years ago: honey mustard salad dressing
3 years ago: homemade granola

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26 Comments so far ↓

  1. I LOVE the idea of adding the whole turkey leg to the soup. I think I’m going to do this tonight since I have a turkey leg in my fridge.

  2. Hindy says:

    I am so happy you finally posted this soup recipe. Split pea soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. I am definitely going to try these dumpling!

  3. chay says:

    how do i smoke a turkey leg?

  4. chay says:

    whats smoked turkey?

    • chanie says:

      Smoked turkey is a type of turkey they often sell at the deli counter – like turkey cold cuts.

      You can buy a smoked turkey leg shrink wrapped from Aarons Best in most kosher supermarkets.

  5. Esther says:

    I’m not totally clear as to what you do with the turkey leg. Firstly can u use a shawarma turkey leg that’s already roasted. And second question is do you cook it in the soup whole or cut up?

    • chanie says:

      I’m sorry I wasn’t clear on my post. You cook it in the soup whole, when the soup is done, you take it out, remove the skin and break the turkey up into pieces and return it to the soup.

      I prefer smoked turkey leg which they sell shrink-wrapped from Aarons Best just like the shwarma turkey.

  6. Marnie Schwartz says:

    I have missed smoky split pea soup for years, and now! I can have it again. Why I never thought of this is beyond me, but it’s great. Thanks a bunch! Kol Toov (all good things).

  7. Dina says:

    This soup is GREAT! I made it :)

  8. Chani says:

    Made this tonight and it was seriously amazing!!! Love love love!!

  9. FoodJunkie says:

    What a great idea. I’ve used smoked hocks to provided great depth of flavour for a few recipes, including pea soup, but they are incredibly hard to find to find where I live. Smoked turkey legs however are everywhere, and they are probably a little healthier. I will be trying this out.

  10. kne says:

    This soup sounds wonderful. Do you think it would work in the crock pot for Shabbos lunch?

  11. This is the only reason that I ever buy those smoked turkey legs! I love the idea of the dumplings, awesome. I’m off to hunt for a gluten free thyme dumpling recipe!

  12. Karen says:

    Sounds yummy and want to make . Do you remove the bay leaves at end ? Doesn’t say to

  13. I love making split pea soup with smoked turkey. I once smoked a whole turkey just so I could use the legs and carcass to make split pea soup for Sukkot. The dumplings sound like they take the soup to a whole nother level, delicious!

  14. This is such a wonderful winter soup, I am sure the smoked turkey gives it a really deep interesting flavor and I love the idea of the dumplings.

  15. Karen says:

    Thanks for responding the other one One more question- when you sautée the bay leaf won’t it fall apart in the soup ? Or will it stay whole so can be removed ?

  16. I love pea soup too, we often put marrow bones for meaty flavor, but the smoked turkey leg is really smart. I really love the dumplings though, have to try that addition.

  17. I’ve used a smoked turkey leg to replace ham in chicken basquaise, and I found it worked really well. This sounds so good!

  18. I love split pea soup, but I’ve never found a recipe I really liked, definitely trying this one, looks perfect.

  19. Sossie scheinfeld says:

    We’ve been making this soup for over 25 years, my mother who was an amazing cook one day decided to throw in a turkey leg into the split pea soup instead of the ( ham hock ) this is how we’ve been making split pea soup ever since. I also put it in lentil soup.

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