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Hearty Vegetarian Split Pea Soup and Brown Bread

Split pea

We jumped the gun a little this week at the cafe. We usually make this soup in the late winter/early spring when potatoes and carrots are in season here. The problem is that EVERYTHING  is in season during that time of year, so we tend to make vegetable-dense stews, casseroles, quiches, and salads. But it’s possible to make this tasty soup with local produce  during the fall if you substitute sweet potatoes for the potatoes and carrots. This time around, the co-op had more (organic at least) potatoes and carrots than local sweet potatoes. So we truly got a little ahead of ourselves.

It was so good though, and very nice on a cool-ish fall day with our version of beautiful, tasty, rich Heidelberg Rye – in which we substitute wheat for the rye. This is the way recipes go. Take a good idea and make it your own - honoring your own region and your own pantry by using what you got.

HEARTY SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/2 cups split peas
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup baby dried baby lima beans
10 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
dash pepper
2 carrots, chopped, and 2 potatoes with skins, diced
OR 4 chopped sweet potatoes

Sauté onion in oil until soft, then stir in bay leaf and celery seed. Stir in peas, barley, and limas. Add 10 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Cook on lo heat, covered, for about an hour and 20 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, and vegetables. Bring to a boil again, then turn down heat to a low simmer (slightly bubbly; the soup will thicken quite a bit and the bottom will burn if the heat is too high). Simmer another 30-40 minutes till done, thinning with additional water if necessary. 

"HEIDELBERG WHEAT," AKA BROWN BREAD
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of yeast
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups warm water

Combine whole wheat flour with the cocoa, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add molasses, softened butter, and water (you can soften the butter in the warm water). Mix well with a whisk. Gradually add enough white flour to make a stiff dough (you will move from whisk, to wooden spoon, to your hands). When dough is no longer very sticky, knead for 10 minutes or so, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to you or the table. Shape into two loave and let rise in a warm place until double in size (see our post in Ä Year in Bread for details on our quick method of bread-baking - ignore the "rapid-rise yeast;"' we use regular baking yeast). Then bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

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