Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Every dream you'd see a black cat floating in your soup? Well you can now! And a tasty tidbit it will be. You might want to use those party sized pumpernickle loaves. The small sliced ones.
- 5 slices bacon
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large celery rib, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (32 ounce) cartons low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 1⁄2 cups split peas, rinsed
- 1 (5 ounce) bagbaby mixed greens
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 slices frozen firm pumpernickel bread (thin slices)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream (optional)
- MAKE SOUP:
- Sauté bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Remove and set aside.
- Add onion, carrot and celery to pan; sauté until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add garlic; sauté 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.
- REMOVE BAY LEAVES!
- Puree 5 cups soup in batches in blender and 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 bread.
- 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.