Split Pea Soup

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This is a good easy recipe and a wonderful way to use up the rest of the Easter ham.  It was cold and rainy here all last week so this soup really tasted good.

8 cups water
1 pound of dried split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 pounds of smoked ham
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium stalks of celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

Heat water and peas to boiling in Dutch oven; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Stir ham, onion, salt, and pepper into peas. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 1 hour. Skim fat if necessary. Remove ham; trim fat and bone from ham. Cut ham into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4 cups). Stir ham, carrots and celery into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Serves 8

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