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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

split pea veggie soup w/ garlic croutons

split pea veggie soup w/ garlic croutons

   2 T. olive oil    
   4 slices of thick bacon, cut into small pieces (no nitrates)
   1 lg. onion, diced
   2 celery stalks, diced
   4 large carrots, diced

   2 t. dried thyme
   1/2 t. fresh cracked black pepper
   2 cloves of garlic, minced
   2 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced 
   1 lb. dried split peas, rinsed
   7 cups veggie stock or water
   bay leaf
   1/2 t. sea salt

   3 cups chopped spinach
   Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over med high heat.  Add bacon slices, onions and celery, cook til onions are wilted.  Add thyme and pepper, stirring.  Add garlic, potatoes, carrots and split peas. 
Add stock or water, bay leaf and salt.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low simmer and cover. (keep lid a bit open for steam to escape)  Stirring every now and then.  Cook for 45 minutes or til potatoes, peas are very  tender. (make croutons while it's cooking.. see recipe below)
  Remove Bay leaf.  Add chopped spinach to soup towards end of cooking time.    Using an immersion blender, blitz till mostly smooth.  
  To serve, top with crumbled bacon and garlic croutons.  A dollop of sour cream is a nice topping too.. or to drizzle, add a little milk or water to loosen it up a bit, then you can make a decorative swirl.   
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end brightens the whole dish. 

whole wheat garlic croutons

   1 garlic clove, minced
   1 T. butter, melted
   3 T. Olive oil
   1/2 t. dried parsley (or 2T. chopped fresh)
   1 T.  grated locatelli or parmesan cheese
   4 slices of wheat bread, cubed
   Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients up to bread cubes till mixed.  Add bread and toss to coat.  Spread out single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Bake till toasty brown, turning once.  Cool.  (store in an airtight container) 

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