Winter in New Orleans

Happy New Year! We’re finally having a spate of chilly weather, not cold enough to snow, but enough for thick sweaters, hot chocolate, and woolly socks.

I made these myself!

I’ve written before about the pleasures of hygge and how much I look forward to New Orleans’ cozy season. Having grown up in Wisconsin, I miss reading by a fireplace while it’s snowing out…though I’m definitely appreciative that our Southern winter is mild, green, and short. (My pansies are still blooming, and I still aim for a walk in City Park every morning, for both exercise and magic.)

An early January morning in City Park (my photo)

Today, however, is grey, rainy, and chilly: gumbo weather! I’ve shared my vegetarian gumbo recipe before, so this week I’m making Split Pea Soup with Chorizo, a recipe I clipped from Eating Well magazine in 2017. I’m not normally a fan of split pea soup, but this one is outstanding–even my kids (well, one of them) like it. The spice level from the vegetarian chorizo is just right, it’s sooo easy to make, and it’s super warm, filling, and nutritious. What’s not to love?

The original recipe calls for chicken broth and regular chorizo, but I’ve been making it vegetarian for years with no loss of flavor. The recipe says Italian sausage can be substituted for the chorizo, and if I can’t find yellow split peas, I use green. Give it a try!

Image from Eating Well Magazine

Split Pea Soup with Chorizo

(Can be made ahead & refrigerated up to 3 days before cooking.)

4 cups low-sodium broth

4 cups water

1 pound yellow potatoes, diced

2 cups yellow (or green) split peas

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp paprika

2 tsp oregano

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1 pound fresh chorizo or Italian sausage (look for veggie versions!)

1/2 tsp ground pepper

microgreens or sprouts for garnish

  1. Combine broth, water, potatoes, peas, onion, carrots, garlic, paprika, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on High 4 hours or Low 8 hours.
  2. A few minutes before serving, crumble chorizo into a skillet & cook 3-5 minutes until crumbly and heated. Stir into soup along with remaining salt and pepper. Garnish with microgreens.

Serve with a hearty bread, if you like. Enjoy, and stay warm!