garlic, chopped fine
red pepper flakes
1Soak the split peas overnight in a bowl with water to cover
2Drain the split peas, set aside
3Put olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy soup pan. (I use my cast iron dutch oven). Heat to medium.
4Add chopped leeks, stirring till wilted
5Add chopped celery and carrots., stir two to three minutes
6Add garlic, salt, pepper, pepper flakes (amount to your taste), and stir. Cook all about 5 to 7 minutes.
7Add ham bone, ham, split peas, and the combined liquids. Start with about 8 cups liquid, adding more water if it gets too thick.
8Simmer on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
9Take out ham bone. If it has ham still clinging to it, pick off meat (discard fat), and add back to the soup.
10If you wish, you may blend soup in a blender in smaller batches or use an immersion blender. Or, if you like to identify your vegetables, leave as is.
11Serve immediately with hot bread. Yum!