TABLE TALK

Hearty soup offers high level of comfort

NEW YORK —

This makes a ton of soup, and you can freeze it at will. It’s the kind of soup that sells itself, hits the spot, and has so much flavor and such a high level of comfort-foodness that you instantly feel better about life while eating it.

If that’s overstating it, I’m sorry, but my family never can get enough of these bean-grain-sausage concoctions.

You’ll see that two different starches are called for: rice and couscous. There is no reason for this other than that I had a bit of couscous left, but not enough for the whole batch of soup. Also, I love soups with a bounce-up of textures in them. You could use all rice, or all couscous, or any other grain you want to play with from spelt to farro. Just look at the cooking times of the grain you want to use, and work backward to figure out when to add it.

There are lots of flavored chicken sausages on the market these days — I went with the basic Italian-seasoned versions, hot or sweet, but you could try any version that seems compatible with this simple soup.

Also, know that soups thicken as they cool, so if you are planning to keep it for a day or two, you might find yourself needing to add some extra water or broth to loosen it up when you reheat it. This is also the kind of soup that is perfect when made ahead; the flavors deepen over a day or two in the fridge.

Leek, chicken sausage and split pea soup

Serves: 12 to 14
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
10 to 12 cups less-sodium chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups split peas
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 cup couscous
450 grams cooked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced

To garnish (optional):

Chopped fresh parsley
Toasted pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS:

In a very large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 8 minutes until they are wilted. Raise the heat to high, add 10 cups of the broth and the crushed tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Add the split peas, return to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.

Add the rice and simmer another 10 minutes, then add the couscous and sausage and simmer for another 20 minutes until the grains and the peas are tender. Add all or part of the remaining 2 cups of broth if the soup seems too thick when you finish cooking it. Serve hot in bowls, with some parsley and/or pumpkin seeds on top.

Nutritional information: Nutrition information per serving: 258 calories; 61 calories from fat; 7 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 19 mg cholesterol; 412 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 15 g protein.

Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 1

    Harry_Gatto

    Sounds good and indeed many variations are possible; soup is like omelette, you can put almost anything in it.

    Using the "cup" as a measure of ingredients is a little dated nowadays surely?

  • 2

    MsDelicious

    Harry: Lots of food articles here like this post sizes in American sizes rather than metric and it is really wrong.

    Food sounds good though.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    Harry: Lots of food articles here like this post sizes in American sizes rather than metric and it is really wrong.

    Especially since cups are different amounts in different countries:

    1 cup America: 235ml

    1 cup metric: 250ml

    1 vup Japan: 200ml

  • 1

    BertieWooster

    Agreed on the irrelevance of "cups." This is Japan Today. The standard measurements are metrics in Japan. Use grams please. I think there is only one country left that still uses cups, pounds, ounces etc., anyway.

    In a similar vein, I wonder if "leeks" means "naga negi" or your actual leeks. Real leeks are not easy to find here.

  • 0

    MsDelicious

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_(unit)

    Thank you strangerland. I never realized that. Table spoons different too. That can really mess up a recipe.

  • -1

    turbotsat

    BertieWooster: I think there is only one country left that still uses cups, pounds, ounces etc., anyway.

    That Which Can Not Be Named .... and we're not talking Voldemort ...

  • 1

    cleo

    Real leeks are not easy to find here.

    I've only once seen them on sale in the supermarket, and they needed a mortgage application... Ditto for split peas, though on the one occasion I did find them, in an import store, they were relatively cheap, presumably because Japanese don't use them and they weren't moving off the shelves (until I got there and bought up their entire stock of two packets). Add in the archaic cup measurements, and one wonders what this recipe is doing on Japan Today. Wouldn't it be kinder and more relevant to offer recipes using ingredients easily available in Japan, that your average non-Japanese reader might want to use but not know how to?

    Though at least the cup measurement is used here only for liquids and grains/small items of a standard size. I've seen recipes that called for 'a cup of carrots', '2 cups of onions' etc. A total head-shaker.

    What's wrong with grams? Or even ounces, it's not that difficult to calculate into metric.

Login to leave a comment

OR

Work
in Japan

Search the Largest English Job Board in Japan.

Find a Job Now!

More in Food

View all

View all

Time
to Buy
in Japan

Find the perfect home today!

Search