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Andersen's Split Pea Soup

From Farm Where Life is Good

<p>In the middle of California on a long, lonely highway drive from north to south (or vice versa) there sits a wonderful little restaurant that makes the best split pea soup on the planet. If you ever find yourself there, go!</p>
Source: thehistorykitchen,com (Entered by Lara Rasmussen Anderson)
Serves: 6

2 cups green split peas
1 stalk celery, coursely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coursely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled into small pieces
pinch cayenne pepper (or 1tsp fresh, minced hot pepper)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Sort the peas in a mesh strainer, removing any stones or impurities. Rinse them clean.
  2. Combine the peas, celery, carrot, onion, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne in a soup pot and cover with 2 quarts (8 cups) of water.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil. Keep at a high simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Let the mixture cook for another 25-30 minutes till the peas are completely tender. Towards the end of cooking, add the seasoned salt, then add salt and pepper to taste. Approx 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
  5. Strain the peas through a food mill or a fine mesh sieve. A food mill will create the smoothest, creamiest texture. Strain the pea mixture till all of the liquid is pushed through, and only pulp remains. A creamy soup will result.
  6. Bring the soup to a quick boil once more on the stovetop, then remove from heat immediately. If the soup seems too thick, add some hot water to thin it out to the desired consistency.
  7. Serve hot
  8. Keep leftover soup in a sealed container. When the soup is chilled, it will solidify. Adding a little water and stirring as you reheat will help the soup to heat up more smoothly.