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A Green Peas Soup, Without Meat

['10 cups fresh or frozen peas or petits pois (small, young green peas), divided', '6 cups water, divided', '1 1/2 teaspoons salt', '1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper', '1/2 teaspoon ground mace', '2 cloves', '2 teaspoons dried thyme', '1 teaspoon dried marjoram', '4 tablespoons unsalted butter', '3 to 4 green onions, trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces', '1/4 pound fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped', '2 teaspoons minced fresh mint', '3 tablespoons all-purpose flour', 'Diced toast for garnish (optional)', 'Shredded fresh calendula blossoms for garnish (optional)']

1. Put 8 cups of the peas and 4 cups of the water in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the salt, pepper, mace, cloves, thyme, and marjoram, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the peas are very tender.
2. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid in the sauceupan. Puree the peas in a food processor or with a food mill. If using a food mill, discard the skins. Press the puree through a sieve into the reserved liquid, stirring to combine thoroughly. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
3. Combine the remaining 2 cups of peas with the remaining 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the peas are just tender.
4. While the second batch of peas is cooking, melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the green onions, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and mint and stir together, cooking until the spinach has just wilted. Blend in the flour, and cook for about 1 minute.
5. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid, and stir the peas into the warm soup along with the spinach mixture. Heat until it begins to simmer, adding the reserved pea-cooking liquid—a little at a time—if the soup is too thick. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
6. Pour the soup into a tureen, and garnish with diced toast and shredded calendula blossoms, if desired.

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