2 cups of split peas
4 cups of water
1 carrot, peeled
2 ribs of celery
1/2 an onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
pinch of salt
About 12 little smokies or half a kielbasa
Rinse the split peas and remove anything that doesn't belong (stones, sticks, dried up discolored peas...). Put the peas and the water in a Dutch oven. Mince the vegetables and add to the peas. Bring to a boil, add the bay leaf and simmer for about 40 minutes. When the peas are soft, remove the bay leaf and either puree or just stir the soup several times, the peas will dissolve and give it a creamy consistence. Stir in the smokies or the kielbasa (slice before adding), heat until warm and taste. Add pepper and salt if needed.
This is an easy, quick solution for when you come home and want a filling, comforting soup. I keep a pack of smokies in the freezer just for this soup. Split peas do not have to be soaked in order to cook quickly so you can have this soup on the table in less than an hour. If you have more time, use the same ingredients but simmer the soup with a smoked ham hock instead.....the soup will be so much richer and smokier for it, but little smokies will do in a pinch.
Traditionally, this soup is served with dark rye bread and pancetta.