It's getting to be that time of year again. Yup, it's time to brush the dust off those soup, chowder and stew recipes and get them ready. Here's one of our favorites, which has got to be about the very best use of the packaged smoked turkey legs found at your local supermarket.
In a large stock pot over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, split peas, diced carrot, diced potatoes, soy sauce, basil, black pepper, parsley, ground sage, kosher salt and bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Add the smoked turkey legs (meaty end immersed) and enough water to cover the peas and meaty part of the turkey legs by about an inch. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, until the peas have softened. Check from time to time to ensure the water level is still above the peas. If not, add a little more water.
Remove the turkey legs and the bay leaves. Discard the bay leaves. Remove the skin and bones from the turkey legs, shredding/chopping the meat into tiny pieces. Set aside.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. (Alternately you can use a food processor or blender.) Add the turkey meat back to the soup and stir to combine. Serve hot with a few crisp bacon pieces for garnish.