Pea Soup with Spanish Chorizo & Sherry Vinegar

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This spicy play on pea soup is weeknight-friendly, thanks to split peas, which you don’t need to soak, and a pressure cooker. You also can cook this in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, but you’ll need to simmer the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the peas are completely tender. Serve this thick and hearty pea soup with crusty bread. Note: This recipe calls for dry-cured Spanish chorizo, not fresh Mexican chorizo. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, substitute another type of spicy dry-cured pork sausage, such as pepperoni, linguisa or even kielbasa. To move this along, you can chop the onion and garlic while the chorizo renders its fat. Leftovers are terrific for lunch or dinner another night; the soup thickens as it cools, so just stir in more stock or water to achieve your desired consistency.

pea-soup-spanish-chorizo4 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound split peas
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sherry vinegar, for drizzling (you can substitute red wine vinegar)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Add chorizo to cooker. Turn heat on to medium-low, and cook 7 minutes or until chorizo renders its fat, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to remove chorizo from cooker, leaving the drippings in the cooker. Drain chorizo on a paper towel.

Add onion to drippings in cooker. Cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken stock to cooker, scraping bottom of cooker to loosen any browned bits. Add peas, water and thyme. Lock lid in place, and bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce heat, and cook 30 minutes or until peas are very tender. Release pressure using automatic pressure release OR carefully transfer cooker to skin and run cool water over rim until pressure drops. Remove lid, tilting it away from you, to allow steam to escape.

Stir in salt and black pepper to taste. The soup will have a hearty rustic texture. If you prefer a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired texture (or transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender). Stir in chorizo. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle each serving with a splash of vinegar and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6-8

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