Split Pea Soup

This is a high-carb recipe, but oh so good.

4 1/2 cups water

2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans chicken broth

1 pound dried split green peas (fresh - not some that have been in your cupboard for years)

1/8 teaspoon baking soda (helps peas cook faster, especially in hard water)

2 pounds smoked ham or 1 1/2 pounds Kielbassa

1/2 cup onion, finely diced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch julienne pieces

1 cup finely diced potatoes (about 1/2-inch pieces)

In a large saucepan, heat water and chicken broth and peas plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda over medium heat.  Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover with lid, and let sit for 1 hour.

Stir in ham, onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil.  Cover pan and simmer for 1 hour or until peas are tender.  Stir frequently so soup does not scorch.  Note:  If you use fresh peas, they cook more thoroughly and thicken soup - no half-baked peas.  You can squish peas as you stir them with a spoon.  Fresh peas will have a nice green color to them and if cooked properly, it will look like you pureed the soup.  Kielbassa is equally as good in this soup as the ham.