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 Foods with humble beginnings often become well loved classics. They may seem unpretentious, boring, and maybe too basic, but something deep within us often longs for simplicity.

In the midst of our busy lives and hectic schedules, as we live our lives constantly on a run, out of breath and in a hurry, isn’t there a deep rooted craving for peace and tranquility?

I hope this New Year will bring a ood balance of this peace that is so important in life.
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It’s hearty, filling, and really healthy too. Each mouthful is like ingesting coziness that just seeps through your entire body.

A thick,  and luscious soup that doesn’t have an ounce of flour in it and doesn’t achieve that texture by being pureed is simply magical. Isn’t it incredible how the peas disintegrate into the soup as they cook and create such a velvety base for the soup?

Ingredients:

1 lb smoked pork (ham, neck, hocks, etc.)

5-6 cups chicken broth

5-6 cups water

1 dry bay leaf

5-7 peppercorns

1 lb dried split peas

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon butter

1 onion, chopped

1-3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt, pepper

Croutions, to garnish the soup, optional

 

Directions:

Place the smoked pork into a large pot with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Pour the broth and water over the meat. You can add all the liquid or add just enough to cover the pork and then add more liquid later.

You can also make this soup vegetarian by omitting the pork, skipping this step, use vegetable broth and move on to adding the split peas to the liquid.

Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Strain the broth through a paper towel or cheesecloth lined, fine mesh sieve.

Return the liquid to the pot and add the split peas. Cook for another 30-40 minutes, at a simmer.

When the meat is cool enough to handle, take the meat off the bone.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, until they are translucent and soft.

Add the carrots, celery and garlic to the onions. Season with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes.

After cooking the split peas for 30-40 minutes, they should start to disintegrate. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the soup. Cook for about 30 minutes more, until the potatoes have cooked through and the split peas have completely disintegrated.

You can adjust the thickness of the soup to your liking, add more broth to make it thinner, or cook it longer so more liquid evaporates.

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