2 lbs split peas, dried
12 cups water
2 teaspoons oregano, dried
4-6 bay leaves
2 chipotle peppers (smoked jalapeno peppers)
3 cloves garlic
4 onions, medium size
1 lb carrots
4-5 ribs celery
Early in the morning, turn a large slow cooker with cover to the “high” setting. Boil 12 cups of water and add to the slow cooker.
Meanwhile, we check the dried split peas for any extraneous 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, and then add the oregano and bay leaves. Stir again. Continue to heat until split peas have softened.
In a high speed blender, place the chipotle peppers (with stems removed and discarded), the peeled 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.
Clean and dice the remaining carrots, onion, 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 additional hot water, depending on the desired consistency of the soup.