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Split pea soup is a delicious, well-known soul food that is a favorite to many. The traditional version of the soup has a meat base and is infused with a ham bone. The soup itself, however, is so delicious that it can stand alone sans meat. Try this amazing version that's yummy enough to please any vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine water, peas, onions, parsnips, carrots, celery flakes and rosemary and bring the entire mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Next, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally two hours (the mixture should be thick and the water should be completely absorbed). While the mixture is simmering, warm oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the bread, caraway seeds and mustard. Sauté these items for 5 minutes (the croutons should be golden in color). Set aside. Add the milk to the split pea mixture and stir until blended. Simmer all ingredients 10 minutes, or until completely heated. Use croutons as a garnish when serving.