I doubt this soup could be any easier to prepare, nor could it be any more delicious. The smoked turkey legs add so much flavor to this soup it is a little mind-boggling. I used to make split pea soup with a ham bone or smoked ham hocks. Then one day I tried it with turkey legs and I was hooked. Split pea soup with smoked turkey has all other split pea soup recipes beaten, hands down. The best part is that this split pea soup recipe is very healthy and nutritious. It is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, while low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Turkey legs can be greasy tasting and have a lot of weird tendons and connective tissues in them, which is a turn off for many people. However, they have a tremendous amount of flavor. Adding the turkey legs to the slowly simmering split pea soup makes them very tender, and helps eliminate any of the weirdness we associate with turkey legs.
I remove the turkey legs after about an hour of simmering and shred them. This removes all of the weird connective tissues and other inedible parts. What’s left behind in the split pea soup is an incredible smoky flavor. The best part is you now have a delicious shredded turkey that you can garnish the soup with. Therefore, you can eat as much or as little of the turkey meat as you want. Customizing your split pea soup and make it your own.
Split Pea Soup Ingredients
- Onions, Celery, and Garlic: The aromatics are the base for any good soup. They impart tremendous flavor as well as having great antioxidant nutritional benefits.
- Black Pepper and Bay Leaves: These are the only seasonings this soup needs. The smoked turkey legs have so much flavor, I don’t even add salt. However, I suppose not all turkey legs are as well seasoned as the ones I buy, so you may need to add salt.
- Carrots and Potatoes: I like to add a little oomph to this split pea soup recipe. The carrots and potatoes add some starch and help round out the soup as a complete meal.
- Split Peas: High in protein and fiber while low in fat. They are either green or yellow and I used the green variety in these photos. If I make split pea soup with yellow split peas, I like to add a little turmeric to the recipe to enhance the color.
- Chicken Stock: I make a pretty amazing Instant pot chicken stock. However, store-bought stock works great in this recipe, as well as vegetable stock.
Here is my recipe for Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey Legs
Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Onion Diced
- 1 1/2 Cups Celery Sliced
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper Ground
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 Cups Carrots 1/2-inch dice
- 3 Cups Potatoes 1/2-inch dice
- 2 Smoked Turkey Legs Whole, skin removed
- 2 Quarts Chicken Stock
- 1 Pound Split Peas
- Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot with a lid over medium-high heat.
- Add all ingredients except chicken stock and split peas. Once the ingredients sizzle, turn heat to low, cover the pot and let them sweat for 15-minutes.
- Add the split peas and chicken stock, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1-hour. Stirring occasionally.
- Once the potatoes are soft, mash them with the back of a spoon to help thicken the soup.
- After 45-minutes, remove the turkey legs and let cool slightly. Shred the turkey legs and discard the bones and connective tissues.
- Serve the soup with warm crusty bread and top it with the shredded turkey meat.