Pinky: "I think so, Brain, but if we give peas a chance, won't the carrots get jealous?"
I've always thought that split pea soup couldn't be split pea soup without chunks of ham in it until the other day when I had no ham in the freezer but did have a roll of light country (sage) sausage. I may never use ham again! The sausage and all of its seasonings added a depth of well-roundedness to the soup that the ham just doesn't quite make. Viva la sausage!
**This soup can be made in either a dutch oven on the stove top or in the crockpot. Directions for both methods are found below.
Stove Top Directions:
In dutch oven over medium heat, brown sausage. Add onions, celery, and carrots, and saute' until tender (add a little olive oil if needed to keep vegetables from sticking). Add rest of ingredients and bring to boil. Turn heat down until a low simmer is reached. Simmer for 1 hour or until split peas are rehydrated and tender. If soup becomes too thick, add a little water.
Put all ingredients in crockpot, crumbling sausage into the bottom first. Turn on high and cook for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours until peas are rehydrated and all the vegetables are tender.