Pigeon Pea Soup


I love a nice baked ham, but since I am trying to watch my sodium intake and eat less meat, I thought stretching it out with soup was a smart way to go.  I made this with dried peas that were soaked for a couple of days, but you could just as easily use cooked canned peas.  Just drain them and rinse them to cut down on the sodium.

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Pigeon Pea Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 pound dried pigeon peas (gandules), that have been soaked in water for 2 days or so
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1/4 cup sofrito (recipe follows)
4 stems fresh cilantro (with leaves)
1 packet sazon, optional
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks (1cup)
Kosher salt, optional
Fresh ground black pepper, optional
2 ounces cooked ham, diced (or more)

Instructions:

Drain pigeon peas and place in a large stockpot or Dutch oven with chicken stock, water, sofrito, cilantro, sazon, if using, and simmer until peas are tender, about 2 hours (if using canned, just simmer 30 minutes).

Add in squash and continue to simmer until squash is tender and starts to break down and thicken the broth, about 15 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.  Remove cilantro stems, stir in ham, and serve.
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