2 lbs split peas, dried
12 cups water
2 teaspoons oregano, dried
4-6 bay leaves
1 lb collard greens, fresh or frozen
1 lb carrots
4-5 ribs celery
4 onions, medium size
3 cloves garlic
2 chipotle peppers (smoked jalapeno peppers)
Early in the morning, turn a large (6-1/2 qt.) slow cooker with cover to the “high” setting. Boil 12 cups of water and add to the slow cooker. If you have a smaller slow cooker, cut the recipe in half.
We use our microwave oven to heat the water 2 cups at a time. Meanwhile, we check the dried split peas for any unwanted material (small stones, etc.) to discard, and rinse the split peas in a sieve under running cold water before adding them to the slow cooker. Stir the split peas and water, then add the oregano and bay leaves. Stir again. Continue to heat until the split peas are soft.
In a high-speed blender, place the chipotle peppers (with stems removed and discarded), along with the following peeled and cleaned vegetables: the garlic cloves, 2 of the carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 2 of the onions. Blend at high speed until the ingredients are smooth. Use a little water to rinse out this mixture from the blender container into a microwaveable dish with cover and heat in the microwave oven until it begins to boil. Add to the slow cooker and mix well.
If using fresh collard greens, wash and cut into bite-sized pieces. (We like to use frozen collard greens that are already in small pieces.) Wash, peel, and dice the remaining carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the microwaveable dish with cover and heat in the microwave oven until the vegetables are tender. Add to the slow cooker and mix well.
Continue to heat on “high” until the flavors of the soup are blended together. Stir occasionally. If necessary add more hot water, depending on the desired consistency of the soup.