*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
         Grandma Sofie’s Split Pea Soup with French Bread Croutons
 Recipe By     : Sofie Schmidt Murray
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Soups                            Winter
                 Guest                            Family
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1       lb           Split peas
      1/2   lb           Bacon
    1       lg           Onion -- chopped
    2       lg           Stalks celery
    3       tb           Parsley -- chopped
    1                    Loaf sourdough French bread
      1/4   c            Butter -- or more if needed
    1                    Garlic clove -- minced (opt.)
   This is NOT low-fat, low-calorie, or low _anything_ for that matter,
   absolutely delicious and an all-time family favorite!
   Rinse peas in cold water and bring to a boil in 3 quarts of water. 
   bacon small and brown with onion.  Add with drippings to peas.  Cook
   peas are soft and just starting to disintegrate, about one hour,
   occasionally to prevent the solids from settling out and sticking to
   bottom of the pot. Chop celery small and add with parsley to the soup
   cook until the celery is soft, about 15 minutes more.  Thin with water
   necessary to the proper consistency; it should be like light cream
   little bits of pea still visible. If too thick, it is more like 'pea
   porridge' and not as appetizing.
   Meanwhile, make the croutons.  Cut the bread (leave crust on) into
   cubes.  Melt the butter in a frying pan (Grandma Sofie used a heavy
   iron one), and when the foam is just through dying down but before the
   butter begins to brown, add the bread cubes in batches sized according
   to the size of your pan:  The croutons should never be more than one
   Sometimes Grandma Sofie sauteed a little bit of garlic in the butter
   before adding the bread and sometimes not -- the croutons are good
   ways.  I think that living all of her life in California sometimes
   overrode her German upbringing and that’s how the garlic snuck in!
   Fry the bread cubes over MEDIUM heat until dark golden, stirring and
   tossing frequently to brown on all sides. Take your time about this,
 as if
   you get the butter too hot it will burn and taste bitter.  If the
   are done correctly, they will be crisp and fairly dry and light enough
   float on top of the soup.
   Ladle the hot soup into bowls and pass the croutons in a basket for
   person to add at the table.
   Note that you _could_ get by with a half a loaf of French bread for
   croutons, but only if you're alone  while you're making the soup.
   Otherwise, the croutons have a tendency to 'dissappear' when you're
   From:  My husbands maternal grandmother Sofie Schmidt Murray,
   She was one of those cooks who never used recipes; I wrote this down
   time while watching her make it. -- Linda Hurlbert Shogren
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