Yellow Split Pea Soup with Autumn Squash and Kale*

Have I mentioned that fall is my favorite season?  Not just for the weather but also the fabulous food that comes into season.  This book is a great staple because when you have no idea what to do with the food at the market it provides a simple, delicious recipe anyone will love.

I have already made this soup twice.  TWICE.  Ok, I should made the first pot on the day I flew home from Squam, and I made the second pot last week.  It is full of flavor and nutrients!

Quick note:  I left the peas to simmer with the rosemary and took Annie for a run, forgetting to take out the sprig.  If you don't take it out, it's very potent.  For our palette we enjoy it, but if you're not a big fan of rosemary, set yourself a timer to take it out.

serves 6

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 ounces pancetta, minced (I have used bacon)
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of dried yellow split peas
1 fresh sprig of rosemary, 4'' long
4 cups of homemade or canned chicken broth, plush more for thinning
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound peeled hard shelled squash such as kabocha or butternut, in 1/3'' dice
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 pound kale or green chard with ribs removed

Heat olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat.  Add pancetta (or bacon) and saute until it renders some of its fat, about 3 minutes.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is soft and sweet, about 10 minutes.  Add split peas, rosemary, 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a simmer, cover and adjust heat to maintain a simmer.  Cook until split peas are completely soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Taste often and remove rosemary sprig when rosemary flavor is strong enough.  (It should be subtle.)

Season soup with salt and pepper.  Stir in squash and tomatoes.  Stack kale leaves a few at a time and slice into ribbons about 1/4 inch wide.  Stir them into the soup, cover and cook until squash and kale are tender, about 20 minutes.  If soup is a little thick, thin with chicken broth. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

*recipe copied directly from Fresh From the Farmers' Market