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Pea Soup with Black-Cat Croutons

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Serves 8 | Prep Time 20 | Cook Time 120

Why I Love This Recipe

Ingredients You'll Need

5 slices bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (32 oz.) cartons low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups green split peas, rinsed
1 (5 oz.) bag baby mixed greens
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1-1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
The croutons:
8 thin, frozen slices firm pumpernickel bread
1 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream, optional


Make soup:

Saute bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Remove and set aside.

Add onion, carrot and celery to pan; saute until vegetables begin to soften.

Add garlic; saute for 1 minute.

Add broth, water, peas, bay leaves and thyme; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot and simmer until vegetables are tender and peas fall apart, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Puree 5 cups soup in batches in blender.

Return to pot.

Stir in salt and season with pepper to taste.

Make croutons:

Preheat oven to 300ºF

Remove pumpernickel slices from freezer and let thaw for 5 minutes.

Mix butter with olive oil in a small bowl.

Use a cat cookie cutter to cut a shape from each partially frozen slice of pumpernickel.

Lightly brush cutouts with butter mixture and arrange on a cookie sheet.

Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.

Cool croutons in pan on a rack.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls.

Crumble reserved bacon on top.

Add a cat crouton and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.

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