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Country Pea Soup

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1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups boiling water
4 cups reduced sodium tomato juice
cooked ham bone (with a little meat left)
1 cups potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 cup celery (diced)
1 cup onion (diced)
1 cup carrot (diced)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper


Rinse dried peas and pick over to discard blackened peas. Place dried peas in a large kettle, add water and tomato juice. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, then reduce to a simmer. Cover soup mixture tightly and simmer until peas are soft, approximately 45 minutes. (Follow guidelines on Package of Dried Peas as preparation and cooking time may vary.)

Add ham bone and all remaining ingredients. Cover again and simmer until vegetables are all tender, approximately 45 minutes. Lift out ham bone and remove any pieces of meat from the bone to return to the soup, then discard the bone. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Any additional salt required depends on the saltiness of the ham.

Serve hot, garnished with oyster crackers.

Makes 8 servings

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