Notes: The hominy can pass for teeth and the green peas as beady little eyes. If making soup ahead, don't add peas; cover soup when cool and chill, then add peas when reheating. For a tureen, use a rustic pan, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven. Or you can use a pumpkin shell. You'll need a pumpkin at least 12 to 16 inches tall and wide. Cut off top and scoop out seeds. About 10 minutes before serving, fill shell with boiling water to warm. Drain and fill with hot soup. Use top as lid for the pumpkin tureen.
1 tablespoon salad oil
2 pounds raw turkey Italian sausages
1 onion (8 oz.), chopped
1 red bell pepper (8 oz.), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 pounds banana or Hubbard squash
3 cans (15 oz. each) hominy, drained
1 box (10 oz.) frozen peas
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
Place oil in an 8- to 10-quart pan over medium-high heat. Squeeze sausages from casings into pan; discard casings. Break sausage into bite-size chunks. Stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir over high heat until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.
Stir in chili powder, cumin seed, and oregano. Add broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, peel squash and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to broth. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add hominy. If peas are frozen in a block, whack container against counter to separate, then pour peas into soup. Turn heat to high and bring soup to a boil, about 3 minutes.
Pour soup into a tureen and ladle into mugs or bowls. Add salt and pepper to taste.