Easy Peas-y Soup

My mother was not a good cook. Well, that’s kind of an understatement. I used to think that she was an intentionally bad cook, but I’ve come to believe that she was more careless than vengeful (my father loved to eat and they didn’t always get along very well). But this is among the handful of things she made when I was a child that I still crave, especially when I’m feeling sorry for myself or when I’m cold. This freezes well (I don’t use potatoes in it, which some pea soups call for).

Easy Peas-y Soup (makes 2 1/2 quarts)

1 lb. green split peas

2 quarts water

1 ham bone or hock

1 stalk celery (chopped)

1 lg. onion (chopped)

2 carrots (chopped)

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and pick over split peas. Place in a large kettle with water, ham, and vegetables. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, and simmer covered, for about two hours. Make sure to stir every 20 minutes or so — as the soup thickens, it can stick. If it gets too thick too quickly, add additional water, 1/2 cup at a time.

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