Creole Split Pea Soup from Closet Cooking
(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 pound andouille sausage (cut into small pieces)
1 cup onion (diced)
1/2 cup celery (diced)
1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
1 ham hock
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Add the sausage and saute until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the onions, celery and green pepper to the pan and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the stock, split peas, ham hock, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered until the peas are soft and tender, about 1-3 hours.
7. Remove the ham hock, pull the meat from it, cut it into bite sized pieces and add it back to the pot if desired.
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