Split Pea Soup

I’ve always loved split pea soup, and if lentils are hard for you to digest, split peas are a great hearty alternative to lentils in a soup.

Split peas are about 25% protein and 25% fiber and in a soup are a warm and comforting way to get in your vegetables.  Below is a delicious recipe I recently made which I loved from the first bite to the last. If you want a little extra flavor and like meat in your soups, add some chopped pieces of cooked bacon at the beginning of the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 3 medium stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2- 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups vegetable/ chicken stock
  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced and diced
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups shopped fresh spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and diced (optional)

Preparation

ln a large soup pot heat butter/ oil. Add celery, onion, and garlic; saute over low heat until the onion begins to turn golden. Add the stock, split peas, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, thyme, and mint. Simmer for another 45-50 minutes, or until the peas are mushy and the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and bacon (optional); season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15 minutes over very low heat.
If you have time, let the soup stand for an hour or so before serving. This soup thickens considerably as it stands. Add more water or stock as needed and adjust seasoning.

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