Although often made with a ham bone, this version of split pea soup is so hearty and heart healthy, you won't miss the meat. Serve with thick slices of rustic bread.Serves 4
12 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 each medium carrot, celery, parsnip, and onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound green split peas, rinsed and picked over
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Stir in vegetables and sauté until softened, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, the diluted stock, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat so liquid is simmering. Cook until peas are very tender, about 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Remove bay leaf. Transfer 3/4 of the mixture to a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Return to pot and heat until hot, adding more water, if necessary. Soup should be rather thick.