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Dried Whole Pea Soup

4 oz (125 g) dried whole peas
4 cloves
1 large onion, peeled but not chopped
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
2 good sprigs mint
1/2 Tbsp (or more) Bac-Os, optional
1-1/2 pints (850 ml) water or unsalted stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 oz (25 g) butter

chopped fresh mint leaves

Soak the peas for several hours in plenty of cold water, then drain
and rinse them. Stick the cloves into the onion and put it in a
large saucepan, together with the peas, mint, and water or stock.
Simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the peas are very tender (if
you're using Bac-Os, add them after 3/4 hour or so, because they're
salty). Remove the cloves from the onion, then liquidize the soup,
with the onion and sprigs of mint until it's really smooth. Stir
in the sugar and lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground
black pepper.

Return the soup to the rinsed-out saucepan to reheat it; add the
butter just before serving. Garnish each bowl of soup with some
chopped fresh mint leaves (or Bac-Os).

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