Yield: 50 1-1/2 cup servings.

4 large onions, chopped
16 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 c. olive oil
12 qt.. water
16 chicken bouillon cubes
8 lbs. of split peas
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 bay leaves
8 c. ham, trimmed and cubed
10 med. carrots, diced
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In large, flat-bottomed stock pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions and celery until fragrant and soft.
Add water, bouillon cubes, split peas, oregano, garlic, bay leaf and ham.
Simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently and watching that soup doesn’t start to scorch as it thickens.
When soup has thickened quite a bit, remove bay leaf and add carrots, then simmer on very low heat for another 1/2 to 1 hour.
Season with black pepper to taste.