½ lb sliced bacon, diced                                   2 cups diced fully cooked ham

1 large onion, chopped                                     2 tsp salt

2 celery ribs, sliced                                            1 bay leaf

1 lb dried green split peas                                ¼ tsp pepper

2 quarts water                                                     1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon to paper towels; drain, reserving drippings. Add onion and celery to drippings. Sauté until vegetables are tender; drain. Add the peas, water, potatoes, ham, salt, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until peas are very tender, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.

Cool slightly. Process in small batches in a blender until smooth. Return to Dutch oven; stir in cream. Heat through (do not boil). Garnish with reserved bacon.

Makes 12 servings.

(Recipe retrieved from Allrecipes.com)

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