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Combine water, split peas, barley, bouillon granules, and bay leaf in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven or pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in celery, carrots and onion; return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes more or until vegetables, peas and barley are tender.
Stir in ham and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes more or until ham is heated through. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper.