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Yellow Split Pea Puree with Vegetables

8 oz (255 g) yellow split peas
1 pint (550 ml) water
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 medium carrot, scraped and sliced
1 small leek, cleaned and sliced
1 stick celery, sliced, optional
good pinch of dried mint or marjoram
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt
freshly gound black pepper
1-1/2 oz (40 g) butter or olive oil

Soak the split peas in the water to cover for an hour or so. Drain
and rinse them and put them into a saucepan with the water, half
the sliced onion and all the other vegetables and herbs. Let them
simmer gently until the split peas are soft and the other vegetables
are tender, about 30 minutes. Sieve or liquidize the mixture, then
season it with lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly ground black
pepper. Spoon the mixture into a shallow heat-proof dish. Fry the
remaining onion in the butter until it's beginning to soften, then
pour the onion and the butter over the top of the puree. Put the
puree under a fairly hot grill until the top is slightly crusted
looking and the onion very crisp and brown. (Alternatively, this
can be done in the oven.)


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