Split-pea soup to help chase away winter for Meatless Monday

Categories: Vegetarian

No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Split peas are a kind of superfood, an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Homemade split-pea soup is much, much better than the stuff that comes out of a can and is ridiculously easy to make. This recipe eschews ham (you won't miss it, we promise) to cook up a fat-free, gluten-free and entirely plant-based pot of soup that still has plenty of flavor.

You will need:

4 cups dry split peas
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dry mustard
8 or more cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 white or yellow onions
2 carrots
2-3 stalks celery
1 medium-sized red potato (or several baby red potatoes)
Cracked black pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Optional: Toasted sesame oil for garnish

1. Combine the split peas, bay leaf, dry mustard, salt and water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook for twenty to thirty minutes, until peas are starting to soften. (I like to keep a kettle of water close to a boil while I make this soup; that way, if I need to add water, it's already heated to temperature.)

2. While the peas cook, start prepping the rest of your ingredients. Peel and dice the carrots.

Dice the celery.

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