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CREAM OF SPLIT AND FRESH PEA SOUP

Makes about 2 quarts

1 cup green split peas, soaked for 1-2 hours

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 large celery rib, including any pale leaves, diced

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, divided

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Sea salt, fresh pepper

1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

2 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup half-and-half

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, half the rosemary, parsley and bay and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the paprika and cook a few minutes more.

Add the split peas and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, about an hour. Add fresh peas; cook 2 minutes more.

Add the half-and-half and puree the soup in batches. Return the soup to the pot. Add remaining rosemary and lemon zest, and heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice and paprika. Serve with a sprinkling of croutons.

Source: Deborah Madison, “Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen” (Broadway Books 2006, $19.95, 230 pages)

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