Peas in a pod

Home on the Range

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College beckons, so we went to look. There we were, standing on lower Broadway, in front of the school of the arts. We were so close to the rehearsal studios, the costume shop, the undergrads singing in the stairwells that I could see the future. I looked across the street, and saw the past.

That building, the tan blocky one, seemed familiar. Wasn't that — half a lifetime ago — work? Maybe. It's all different now, flashy and open to the book-buying public. Not drab and dribbling would-be writers, among them me on my first job, all high heels and high ambitions.

I walked north. Didn't we used to have lunch around here? Didn't we used to go to that diner with the pea soup? The Famous Cozy Soup 'N' Burger. Still famous. Still there.

And inside, still cozy. The counter was packed with lunchtime workers, each hunched over a wide bowl of split pea and a raft of soup-heavy croutons. The soup seemed different. But the tight fit, the hot plates, the head shots of stars — old and new — remained the same.

I paid and went to meet my girl — the one just starting out, the one shopping for high heels and shopping around her high ambitions.

Split-pea soup

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Serves: 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup thinly sliced carrots

1 cup quartered and thinly sliced onion

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup split peas, rinsed and sorted

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