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Split Pea Soup
From The Good Food: Soups, Stews, and Pastas, by Daniel Halpern and Julie Strand

Ingredients:

1 pound dried split green peas, rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups Chicken Stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over moderately low heat and in it sauté the carrot, celery, and onion until soft. Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking.

2. Add the stock, split peas, potatoes, ham, bay leaf, and thyme and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the peas and potatoes are tender, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

3. Remove the bay leaf. Remove the ham hocks or bone, shred the meat, removing all gristle, and set aside.

4. Purée the mixture in a food processor or food mill and return to the pan. Add the ham and pepper to taste and simmer until heated through. Serve in heated bowls.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

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