split pea soup

As with most soups, this one tastes best on the second day.

1 16-oz. package green split peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 14-oz. cans vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. ground savory

1. Carefully sort through peas and rinse. Place peas in large stewpot with onion, carrots, and broth. Add enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water when necessary to keep peas covered.

2. Add salt, pepper, and spices. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 1 hour. Stir often and occasionally add water to prevent soup from becoming too thick. Remove bay leaves and serve.

vegetable grain soup

Before you prepare this soup, check your cupboards for tiny leftover amounts of grains, barley, lentils, etc. and feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand for the ingredients listed below.

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, bring the broth, water, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the barley, lentils, split peas, and dried mushrooms. Continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

2. Add the potato, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve hot with a rustic bread.