Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Grey Bears brown bags feature nutritious dried split peas this month. Add other veggies regularly found in your brown bag to make this favorite Split Pea Soup recipe that is both hearty and heart healthy. Serve with a thick slice of rustic or sourdough bread.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
Ingredients
split pea soup1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups medium-diced boiling potatoes, unpeeled

1 cup split peas
2 cups veggie stock
4 cups hot water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
To taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish, sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish

Instructions
1. Rinse the split peas, drain, and set aside (if possible, allow the split peas to soak in water for up to 8 hours, then drain).
2. In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the oil, oregano, salt and pepper until the onions are translucent, 5-8 minutes.
3. Stir in the carrots and celery and sauté with onions and garlic for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Add peas, the diluted stock and water, thyme, bay leaf, 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.
4. Remove bay leaf. Optional: use an immersion blender for a creamier consistency, adding more water if necessary.
5. Serve with garnish of parsley or a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Serves 4-6.

Split_Pea_imageSplit peas are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, including Thiamin, Folate, Manganese, Phosphorus and Vitamin K, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber. They are also naturally low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.