Get Ready for Spring!

Renew yourself with this delicious soup from Follow Your Heart's Vegetarian Soup Cookbook by Janice Cook Migliaccio. The soup was created by Marcia Stamp. She says, "This soup contains all of Popeye's favorites—peas sweetened with yams ('I yam what I yam'), olive oil, and, of course, spinach."

Popeye's Swee'pea with Olive Oyl Soup

10 cups water
3¼ cups dried green split peas
2 cups diced red onion
2 cups diced yam
2 cups chopped celery (include finely diced leaves)
3 tablespoons unrefined olive oil
1 pound finely chopped fresh spinach (wash well before chopping)
2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons crumbled basil leaf
2 cups shelled fresh peas, or one 10–ounce package of frozen peas, rinsed under hot water to thaw
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons light molasses, or to taste (do not use blackstrap)
2 teaspoons Spike, or to taste

In a 6– or 8–quart pot, bring to a boil: water, split peas, onion, yam, celery, and olive oil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes.

Add spinach, garlic, and basil. Bring again to a boil; reduce heat ad simmer, covered, about 25–35 minutes, or until split peas have dissolved to form a thick broth. Stir occasionally.

Add fresh or frozen peas and tamari. Add molasses and Spike, to taste, and simmer 5 minutes, until peas are tender and flavors well blended.

Makes 4½–5 quarts.