For serving a large gathering, I always double this recipe.
2 C. dried split peas
8 C. water
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. water
3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 large parsnip, sliced thin (optional)*
Salt and pepper to taste
Look over peas and discard any imperfect ones. Rinse peas and put them into a large stockpot along with the water, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Partially cover pot, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until peas are soft and broken down when pressed with a spoon.
Put water, carrots, onion, tomato, and parsnip into a large wok or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Puree all ingredients together in batches in a blender for a smooth puree. If you prefer soup with more texture, puree in the food processor. If desired, some portion of the vegetables can be left whole for a little more texture.
Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve hot with whole grain bread. Serves 6.
*Though the parsnip is optional, it always adds just a light touch of sweetness, making the soup much more flavorful.
CHUNKY VARIATION: To the already listed vegetables, add 2 turnips, diced, 4 stalks celery, diced, 2 broccoli crowns, chopped, 1/4 head cauliflower, chopped, 1 green bell pepper, chopped and 1 red bell pepper, chopped. Sauté these together in a small amount of water. Add to stockpot after pureeing the peas. Cook gently for about 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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