USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council
Pea and Pesto Soup is a complete meal in a dish.
Peas are economical and healthy, deserving of their own professional organization -- which they share with their cousins the lentils and the chickpeas. This would be the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, based in Moscow, Idaho.
Production of these iron-packed wonders is an area along the borders of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, an area called the Palouse. Moscow is sort of the governing center of the Palouse.
In honor of the pea's big week, the council is brewing the world's largest bowl of split pea soup, on Saturday in Buellton, Calif., which is far from the Palouse, but has the distinction of being the original location of Pea Soup Andersen's Restaurant.
As a matter of good nutrition, dry peas are full of it. They are high in protein, fiber, iron and amino acids, and low in the bad stuff: sodium, calories and fat, and no cholesterol. Try it and see:
Combine peas, water and broth; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer 5-10 minutes. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 237.5 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 4.5 mg cholesterol, 522 mg sodium.*