Hearty Country Style Split Pea Soup

2 cups green or yellow dry split peas
2 quarts water
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chicken base or bouillon
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 to 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups 96% to 98% fat free ham, diced

1. Follow package directions for sorting and cleaning split peas. Place peas in a large stockpot. Add water, garlic, onion, chicken base, bay leaves, garlic powder, pepper and bring to low boil. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until peas are just tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Add celery, carrots and potatoes to soup and continue to simmer another 45 to 60 minutes, until vegetables are tender and soup has thickened. Add ham and cook 3 to 5 minutes more or until ham is heated through before serving.

Yield: 16 1-cup servings at approximately 130 calories; 0.8 gram total fat; 0.2 gram saturated fat; 6 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrate; 7.5 grams dietary fiber; 9.5 grams protein; 536 milligrams sodium.

Recipe from the Cookbook, Lighten Up – The Art of Low Fat Gourmet Cooking, by Mary E. Ross

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