My stepmother, Eva has been making this forever. It takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and a couple of hours to simmer. I make double batches so I can freeze it.
Cook's Note:To increase flavor from fresh dill, rinse and shake off excess water over the sink. Sprinkle 1 tsp kosher salt and rub between hands to release flavor.
If you are using meat, sear it first in a 5 quart Dutch oven
with a little oil.
Add water or broth. If you are using chicken, rinse, remove
excess fat and cut into 8 pieces. Do not sear, just add to
liquid (leaving about 3” from the top for vegetables). Add a
couple of sprigs of dill and the whole onion to the soup.
Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer
(gentle bubbling) and cover. Occasionally skim the soup of fat
and foam, and stir occasionally to loosen meat from bottom of
the pot. Skimming usually takes 10-20 minutes until the soup is
mostly clear. Discard the cooked dill and onion.
Add fresh dill and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for
2½ -3 hours.
Discard the celery, onion and dill. Puree carrots, parsnip and turnip in a blender if you have or else just mash them as you would potatoes and return them to the soup. The split peas tend to absorb lots of the liquid, so you might want to add some water before serving. Garnish with fresh dill.