Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup is one of our favorite hearty Winter soups -- it's absolutely delicious, economical and easy to make. Don't forget to serve crusty bread for mopping up all the fabulous flavors!

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups dried split peas, (1 pound), sorted and rinsed
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 ham bone or 2 pounds shanks
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions
Heat peas and water to boiling in 4-quart Dutch oven. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

Stir in onion, celery and pepper. Add ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour 30 minutes or until peas are tender.

Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.

Stir ham and carrots into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and soup is desired consistency.