Split Pea Soup with Barley & Chicken Sausage

Barley makes this split pea soup hearty and toothsome, and a few chopped up chicken-apple sausages bring a nice sweet-salty component to the finished soup.

Split Pea Soup with Barley & Chicken Sausage

3 cups split peas, rinsed and picked over
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
3/4 cups pearled barley, rinsed
3 T Bragg's liquid aminos
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (take this down to 1/4 tsp if you don't like kick)
2 1/2 tsp dried thyme
32 oz chicken stock
3 cups water
3 links apple chicken sausage, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place split peas in a large bowl and cover with water (allow about 2 inches above the peas).  Soak overnight.

Drain split peas well and place them in a 6 quart crockpot.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, thyme and garlic. Cook until just beginning to soften, about 4-5 minutes.  Place vegetables in the crockpot with peas.  Add rinsed barley, Bragg's, cayenne pepper, stock, and water.

Cover and cook on low for 12 hours.  If soup is too thick, add additional broth or water to thin.

Taste soup and season with salt and pepper. Stir in sausage, cover, and allow to cook on low for an additional 30 minutes (or until sausage is heated through).

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