Creamy split-pea soup

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Split Peas -- green, dried
2 tablespoons Butter
2 smalls Leeks -- chopped
2 mediums Carrots -- chopped
1 medium Onion -- chopped
½ cup Celery Ribs -- chopped
2 larges Garlic Cloves -- minced
8 cups Chicken Broth -- or more, as
1 Whole Ham Bone -- or 2 ham

Bouquet Garni, Tied In Double Cheesecloth: 3 Whole Bay Leaves ½ Teaspoon Thyme ½ Teaspoon Marjoram 4 Sprigs Parsley 10 Whole Peppercorns For Serving: 4 Cups Bread Cubes -- day old, french Oil Whipping Cream -- optional

1. Soak split peas in cold water to cover for several hours. Drain well.

2. Heat butter in 6-quart dutch oven until hot. Add leeks, carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir until limp, about 10 minutes.

3. Add chicken broth, ham bone (with at least 1 pound of meat on it), and bouquet garni.

4. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are very tender, about 2 hours.

5. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Remove ham bone, or hocks, to a cutting board. Puree the soup with vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth.

6. Chop any meat remaining on bones, and add this meat to the soup. Reheat soup if necessary. Add more chicken broth, if needed, to thin soup to your preferred consistency.

7. For croutons, fry bread cubes in a small amount of oil in skillet until crisp on all sides. Drain well on paper towels.

8. To serve, ladle soup into bowl. Drizzle a little whipping cream into center of soup (optional). Sprinkle with croutons.

Recipe By : Parade Magazine 3/9/96 Recorded by Jocie Moravec File

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