1 pint split peas

6 leeks, or 2 good-sized onions

2 slices bread

2 tablespoonfuls butter

1 head celery

1 pint mashed potatoes

2 quarts water

1 teaspoonful salt

1 saltspoonful pepper

Wash and soak the peas over night. Next morning, put them in a kettle with the water. Cut the onions or leeks into slices; chop the green portion of the celery; put them in a frying-pan with the butter that has been heated; stir until they are a golden brown. Put them into the soup-kettle with the peas; add the bread, salt and pepper. Cook slowly one and a half hours. Press through a purée sieve, returning the soup to the kettle; add the mashed potatoes and bring to boiling-point. Strain through a fine sieve and serve at once with croûtons. This should be a thick purée; if not, add a table-spoonful of butter and one of flour, rubbed together, just before bringing it to the last boil. Peas porridge should be almost as thick as breakfast oatmeal or mush. It is highly nutritious; in fact, it has more than meat value. Served at the beginning of a dinner, one would only need a salad and dessert to make the meal complete.