Split-Peas on a Sleepy Day

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I started my Monday at 3 am and showed up to a local bakery for training at 4 am.  I happily shaped loaves of ciabatta, foccacia, baguettes, rolls, bagels, and pretzels until 10 am when I sleepily rode my boyfriend's bike home.  I have an odd situation, I am being trained for a job that will never employ me.  After a few weeks I will have to be looking for something else.  In the meantime I hope to be an eager student.

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In a sunny afternoon haze I came past a bag of dried split-peas that I had recently purchased at the Co-op.  I decided I must make split-pea soup.  Here is the hodge-podge recipe that I concocted.  It worked well.

Sleepy Day Split-Pea Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

1 C celery stalks - chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 C carrots -peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion - chopped
3 Tbl butter
3 large garlic cloves - chopped
3 C dried split-peas
1/2 Tbl dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
8 C water or vegetable stock (plus more if soup becomes too thick for your taste)
1/2 C of sliced radishes
1/2 C of dried porcini mushrooms
4 small potatoes - diced
salt and pepper to taste

Croutons

1 C of stale bread - chopped
1 Tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

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In a large stock-pot melt the butter and add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic.  Sauté until tender, about 7 minutes.

Thoroughly rinse the split-peas and pick through for any inedibles.

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Add all of the other ingredients except the radishes, potatoes, salt, and pepper (and the ingredients for the croutons).

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer (medium-low heat).

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Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add radishes and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more, still stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250F.  Cut up chunks of stale bread and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 10 minutes, though watch closely so they don't burn.  Remove when croutons are golden brown and allow to cool.

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Uncover, salt and pepper the soup to taste

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Serve warm with croutons.  This soup keeps well refrigerated for a day or two.

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