By Gail Gordon Oliver

Flanken is the Yiddish word for short ribs. When winter rolls around, I get serious about my soup-making, and this is one of my favourites. Why? Not only does it bring warm memories of my late mother, Phyllis Chodos Gordon, it's also delicious and makes a hearty, one-pot meal that's ridiculously easy to prepare. As with any soup or stew, it tastes better the day after it's made. Feel free to leave out the meat for a vegetarian version.

Makes 6 main-course servings

2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs or boneless beef blade steak (chuck)

12 cups water

2 cups dried green or yellow split peas (or a combination), picked over and rinsed

6 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 medium onions, chopped

3 or 4 sprigs fresh dill (optional)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, bring the meat and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours, removing any scum that rises to the surface. Using tongs, remove the meat from the pot and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any bones, membrane and fat. Return the meat to the pot.

Stir in the split peas, carrots, celery, onion, dill (if using), onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the peas have fallen apart and the soup is thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. Add some water if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.