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Wednesday, November 11, 1998

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council
Pea and Pesto Soup is a complete meal in a dish.

A pea is no
insignificant thing

Now here's something you probably didn't know: This is National Split Pea Soup Week, the theme of which is "Visualize Whirled Peas."

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:


Pea and Pesto Soup

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

1 cup green or yellow split peas
2-1/2 cups water
1 14-1/2 ounce can chicken broth
2-3 tablespoons prepared pesto
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped green onions

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.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 237.5 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 4.5 mg cholesterol, 522 mg sodium.*

Star-Bulletin staff

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