Spinach Pea Soup

This is a creamy pureed pea soup with a more interesting look. Darker green flecks of spinach mingle with the lighter green of split peas.

2 cups split peas (1 small pkg.)
2 slices beef, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) chicken broth
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach leaves, thawed and drained
1/2 tsp. dried thyme or marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 to 2 Tbsp. white wine, optional

Garnishes: (optional)
Finely chopped scallions
Crisp, crumbled beef
Rinse the peas. Soak for about 1 hr. in warm water.

Meanwhile, saute beef, celery, onion and carrots until mixture is soft.

Bring broth to a boil. Add drained peas (save water for thinning, if needed) and sauteed vegetables.

Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/4 hrs. or until peas are tender. Stir in spinach and thyme.

Puree soup in food mill or in blender. Reheat and thin, if needed. Season with black pepper and wine, if desired.

Serve with garnishes of your choice.

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