Basic Split Pea Soup
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
several cloves garlic, diced
splash of wine and/or apple cider vinegar
1 lb. bag of dried split peas, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
liquid smoke and chipotle peppers en adobo, for seasoning
Sauté all the vegetables and the bay leaf in some olive oil in a large flat-bottomed pot until the veggies are softened and slightly browned. Add the wine and/or vinegar and reduce for 30-40 seconds.
Add the peas and broth, along with several cups of water. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until peas are tender. (Check periodically and add water as needed.)
When peas are tender, transfer 1/3 or 1/2 of the soup into a blender and puree. Add the pureed mixture back to the whole peas, and stir to combine-- this keeps the soup from looking like baby food, but it also make the soup nice and creamy. Cook for several minutes longer, until everything is well-combined and soft.
Season with a dash of liquid smoke and some chopped chipotle pepper en adobo sauce. This is a vegetarian replacement for the traditional ham hock that many people use for smoky flavor.
Season with salt (it will need quite a bit, unless you use a pre-made salty broth) and pepper, and serve.