With humble ingredients Italian Sausage & Split Pea Stew delivers a flavorful and satisfying meal without a lot of fuss.
When I made this Sausage and Split Pea Stew, it was delightfully easy and its flavor impressive. Surprised by numerous recipes calling for “just throw everything in the pot” once the sausage browned; I struggled a little with not layering the flavors, skeptical of great taste with so little effort.
Melding a few promising recipes into one, this stew proved worthy of a regular spot on the menu rotation. Nothing fancy, just downright delicious.
Split peas and lentils boast a beautiful range of colors to choose from; I selected yellow for a bright, appetizing soup. Green and brown lentils are more common and equally as tasty but tend to make soups look muddy or cloudy.
Lentils work just as well in this recipe and benefit from shorter cooking time. If using lentils, only until lentils begin to soften, about 20 minutes.
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Sausage and Split Pea Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage , removed from casings
- 1 medium onion , diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery , diced (about 2/3 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper , diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil , or 1/3 cup fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme , or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 3 medium carrots , diced (about 1 1/4 cup)
- 1 medium zucchini , chopped, about 2 cups
- 2 cups dry split peas , rinsed and soaked for 4-8 hours(or lentils, see note)
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 piece Parmesan rind
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes , undrained
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Parmesan cheese , for garnish
- *Soak split peas in enough water to cover by 2 inches with 1 tablespoon salt for 8 to 12 hours in advance. This reduces cooking time and ensures they will soften if they've been stored a long time.
- In a large pot, brown sausage in olive oil over medium heat. Remove sausage from pan and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- In the same pot, saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper in the rendered fat from the sausage until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize, 7-8 minutes (add more oil as needed). Add the garlic, salt and spices, cook another 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the herbs release a pleasant aroma.
- Add the carrots, zucchini, and split peas to the pot and pour in some of the chicken stock and stir to loosen any browned bits at the bottom to incorporate into the stew. Add the cooked sausage, remaining stock and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (if using lentils, simmer for 20 minutes), or until peas are tender. Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered for 30 minutes to meld flavors.
- Stir in parsley just before serving. Remove Parmesan rind and serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crusty bread.
- I use yellow split peas for soups like this because the color is so appealing. I tend to have better luck with bagged beans and split peas cooking evenly, rather than those kept in bulk bins.
- Lentils can be substituted for the split peas, and will take less time to cook through (these seem to be okay from bulk bins). Any type lentil will work, though choosing red or yellow lentils will keep the soup bright in color. Brown or green lentils are just as delicious, but give the soup a muddy appearance.
- Substitute hot Italian sausage or any link type sausage for all or part of the mild Italian sausage. If using precooked link sausage, slice into discs and brown in the same manner.
I left the sprinkle of Parmesan off for the photo to show a better example of the texture of the soup ~ but the Parmesan is important when served.
This is one of our favorite family meals! It freezes great and is very nutritious and filling. It is our go to meal anytime we are going on a multi-day climbing or rafting trip as it gives all the nutrition and comfort you need after a long day of activity and you get to do all the work in advance. Friends always request that we bring it as it has become a favorite in our group!
Judy Purcell says
Hi Megan! Thanks for your sweet words and letting me know how much you love this recipe——we think it’s special too. 🙂
OMG! This was so delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. Thank you.
Judy Purcell says
Aw, thanks Sharon! And thank you for taking the time to stop back by and let me know how much you enjoyed it! 🙂
A staple at our house now. Love how easy this is!
Is there corn in it? The picture looks like corn but I didn’t see it on the ingredient list… corn would be good!
Judy Purcell says
No corn, Theresa, that is the yellow lentils. You could put corn in it if you wanted, small bits of cauliflower would be good too. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
That’s an awesome looking soup! So many ingredients and all of them so good for you. There’s a lot of nourishment there! xx
Judy Purcell says
Thanks Charlie! It is a nourishing soup and oh so good tasting too. 🙂
Alea Milham says
This sounds so good – an easy, hearty meal! I love how thick your soup is. Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.
Lentil soup is one of the few healthy dishes that my whole family can enjoy! Yours looks really good, and packed full of veggies just how I like it. I may just need to tweak your recipe next time I get the urge to cook up a big pot full. 🙂
Rachel @ day2day joys says
I love making soup, especially right now! I’ve made 2 starchy ones in the past week or so, potato & gf chicken noodle, but I think I want to add this one to my list. (it’s not as starchy which is better) I also love making dump soups- you just add what you have to it, like you said, they are (usually) the best, sometimes… not. hehe!
By the way, I would love for you to link this up to Healthy 2day Wednesdays this week (and every week until Saturday afternoon) You can add articles such this recipes, natural remedies, going “green” tips, suggestions, etc. Hope you’ll check it out!
Debbie @ Easy Natural Food says
This looks to die for! I love all of the beautiful colors. I’m going to make this!! Thanks for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night. I’ll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I’d love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe!
This definitely looked good as is but I needed a vegetarian meal. I made this soup as vegetarian and it turned out great as well. I can’t wait to try it with sausage or maybe even meatballs. Have a great day all.
Judy Purcell says
John, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let me know you liked the soup. One of the things I love about soup is how versatile it is, and I like your idea about adding meatballs too!
Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says
Are you kidding me!!! Wow! I just ate dinner but this is making my mouth water:) I’m totally bookmarking this! I really love the use of all the fresh herbs! That’s what makes a meal as far as I am concerned:) This post is so informative and I think others would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable this Wednesday.
What a great looking soup. It sounds delicious as well and the use of the rind is spot on here. I’d love to have a bowl of this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
Never fear lentils….especially with sausage!
What a lovely soup that is, looks full of flavour
This is a great recipe and the very reason why I’m saving a parmesan rind. I’ll definitely be making this. Thanks for sharing!
The yellow lentils really make this a pretty dish. It must be the weather, it just did a bean soup recipe.
Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says
This sounds and looks delicious. I have some red lentils in a jar. I just might try this! Thank you for sharing it.