Delicious Split Pea Soup
1 lb (2 1/4 cups) green spilt peas
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large clove of garlic
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 bay leaves
2Tbsp Italian Seasonings
salt and pepper
Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas.
In a 4 quart pan brown 4 Tbsp olive oil. Add onion, garlic, leeks, carrots and celery. Add Italian Seasoning, bouillon cubes and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Cover loosely and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.
There are two options of finishing the spilt pea soup. Either leave the vegetables chunky and let the peas mash naturally with your spoon.
Purée the soup with a blender. An immersion blender works great for this; if you are using a regular blender, take care to workin batches and only fill the blender halfway if the soup is still hot, and hold down the lid while blending. If you want an exceptionally smooth soup, pass the purée through a sieve.
Return the purée to the pot and heat to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with croutons and parsley or chives.
Makes 2 quarts. Serves 6.