Split peas are great for soup. Sometimes I cook them similar to dried beans. Split peas do not tend to create the "after effects" that beans can. I liked this recipe because it is meat free. I am not a vegetarian, but I really don't like meat at every meal. Plus this in another recipe from the Mayo-Clinic cookbook. My "new favorite" book. Enjoy!
In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add celery, carrots, garlic, onion, and pepper. Saute until vegetables are wilted, 5-7 min.
Stir in split peas, water, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and cloves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, partially cover pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is thick and the peas are mushy, about 1 hour. If soup is too thick, add 1/4 cup additional water. Remove bay leaf. Serve.