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Masa Soup

What you need: 

1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup split peas
1/2 cup lentils (any color)
2-1/2 cups edible hibuscus leaves, spinach, kale, collard or mustard greens, etc., cut or torn in 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup eggplant, diced (optional)
3 large fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
pinch (1/4 teaspoon) thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt (or 2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Amino)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
--optional-- chili peppers or hot sauce to taste

What you do: 

Last week a friend gave me a big bunch of edible hibiscus leaves that he grows. (He also gave me three plants, and I intend to try to nurture them). The leaves are dark green and tender, thin and as much as 2 feet in diameter. They taste a bit like kale or spinach. So I'll share this recipe I invented to incorporate the leaves in a thick, rich soup. I call this Masa Soup, to honor the donor, Masa Yafuso and his wife Harriet, who donate their time giving low fat vegetarian cooking classes (and give samples of all their recipes at each meeting.)
This is the good part. Saute onions and garlic in water till starting to turn yellow, add all other ingredients in a large pot with 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer an hour (or until peas are tender) and then puree in a blender. Thats it!
Serve as a main meal with whole wheat vegan pita bread. For a variation, sprinkle fresh ripe diced tomato on top of soup (or this can be blended in earlier). For those who remember the days when pea soup used to have h*m or b*c*n in it, soy baco-bits, sprinkled in just before serving, brings back that aura.

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