This dish is called mancare de mazare in Romanian, which literally means food of peas. My grandmother made this for me a lot when I summered with her in the Romanian countryside during my childhood. The basic flavours are peas in a tomato base with a lot of fresh dill and sometimes some bacon or other smoked meat for flavour. Besides being the taste of my childhood, what makes this dish extra special because it embodies the spirit that runs through traditional Romanian cooking and cucina povera – that of making do with what’s available.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottom pot with a lid.
Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until transluscent.
Add bacon and cook until the fat begins to render / the bacon brows a bit.
Add the diced carrots and celery and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the peas, tomato puree, around 2 cans of water (enough to cover the veg and peas by 2-3 finger lengths,) the seasoning and 1/2 of the fresh dill.
Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Mix in the remaining dill just before serving, reserving a bit for garnish if you like.
Serve with crusty bread.
If the liquid doesn’t reduce sufficiently to a stew-like consistency then you can increase the heat a bit and cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes or until it reduces and thickens.
Keywords: soup, stew, green peas, green pea soup, romanian green pea soup, romanian soup, mazare, mancare de mazare, mancare de mazare rapida, mancarica de mazare, green pea soup, green pea stew