The Best Split Pea Soup Ever

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Some soups demand a fireside, others require a summer afternoon. This soup defies seasons, and tastes just as delicious in the spring as in the winter. Perfect for dipping into with a hunk of brown bread or satisfying alone. The addition of whole peas and pecorino at the end makes for a satisfying sweet/salty finish. Plus, even Daniel made it through half a bowl before realizing Split Peas are still peas.

Ingredients

In heavy-bottomed big pot sauté the following items, all sliced, in a splash of olive oil:

  • 2 leeks (washed and trimmed of much of the green)
  • 5 or 6 big carrots (peeled and trimmed)
  • 2 onions
  • 8 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 5 celery stalks with leaves

Add:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. rinsed spilt peas
  • 2 quarts organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube (one of the rectangles — like Rapunzel's vegan with sea salt — or 2 smaller cubes)
  • 2 cups water
  • Big slug of bad brandy (a slug here means one of those bottles you might get on a plane)
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

1. Bring to a boil, stirring a bit as you go.

2. Once boiled, turn flame off. Stir. Put pot into 350 degree oven for 2 hours with lid cracked. Add one or two additional cups of water as the time goes, stirring as you add.

3. After about 2 hours (could be less or a bit more) blend in food processor or blender, or with hand held.

4. Add bag of frozen peas (thawed briefly) to very hot soup right before serving, serve with shredded Pecorino Romano.

Reprinted from Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes by Emily Franklin (© Harper Collins, 2009).

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