Split Pea Soup for Early Spring

I love that moment of transition between winter and spring.  The buds are just starting to bloom, and everything is gently waking up.  The mornings are chilly, and the afternoons are lush and warm.  This is a perfect soup for this time of year- it takes advantage of spring flavors, but retains a heartiness that can take away the last remnants of winter’s chill.  If you wanted to really bring home the spring theme, substitute leeks for the onions.  And have fun with the flavors.  I went with dried dill and lemon, but could easily see the addition of dried mint, or tarragon.  You could even puree this soup with fresh mint and serve it chilled, if the spring weather is getting warm.  If you wanted something a bit more decadent,  add a handful of soaked cashews before pureeing.  Happy eating! -Amanda

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Split Pea Soup for Early Spring

1 quart vegetable stock

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup celeriac, chopped

1 bay leaf

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tablespoon dried dill

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup split peas

1 bag frozen sweet peas

salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil and croutons, for serving

Directions

1.  In a large pot, sautee onion, celeriac, bay leaf, lemon zest and dill in oil until the onions are soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and stir a few more minutes.

2.  Pour in the split peas and cover with vegetable stock, being sure to scrape any caramelized vegetables off the bottom of the pot.  Allow to simmer about 1 hour.  Remove the bay leaf when the split peas are totally soft.

3.  Pour in the frozen peas.  When they are just warmed through, transfer to a blender and puree until totally smooth.

4.  Serve with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

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