King Winter seems to be gripping on as long as he can this Spring. The weather reminds me a lot of April in Canada- wet and cold with a warm teasing kind of day now and then. But I'm not complaining- I do not cope well in 40˚ heat.
My favourite part about this kind of weather is the amount of cooking and baking I can do in comfort! There's nothing easier and more satisfying than a bowl of hearty soup filled with legumes and vegetables. Perfect after a morning of puddle jumping and baking mudcakes.
2 cups split peas
8 cups vegetable stock (or homemade organic chicken stock)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
olive oil and/or butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 pieces celery, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 tsp herbs de provence (or just some nice Italian/French fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil or sage)
Saute the last 5 ingredients (celery, herbs and garlic) for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients and cook in a large stone or enamel pot for 3-4 hours until the peas are soft. You may blend in a food processor at the end of you like a smoother consistency but the soup will already be quite soft.
Remove bay leaves and garnish with fresh mint or a dollop of dijon mustard.
Serve with warm bread.