Last night I made the best pea soup.
1 ham hock with lots of ham left on the bone.
4 cloves garlic - minced
1-2 carrots - diced
2 boxes good chicken broth
2 cups dry split peas
3 bay leaves
dry, ground rosemary to taste
You'll need a pot the sized of a Dutch oven for this one.
Add the chicken broth, garlic, diced carrot(s), bay leaves, ground rosemary, and ham hock to boiling. When you've got a rolling boil going, add the split peas and simmer for about an hour.
Remove the ham hock from pot and cut what ham is left on the bone into chunks. Add the ham back into the pot and simmer until the split peas have dissolved, about 1/2 an hour more. Remove the bay leaves and enjoy.
I think this soup would taste great with an onion added, but my husband is allergic to onions, so I usually just add a lot of garlic to make up the lost flavor. This soup wasn't garlicky at all, so you could still use that much garlic with an onion and it would be fine. I never measure my spices, but I used probably 2 TBS of rosemary at least. It added a wonderful flavor. I wouldn't use dried rosemary unless you grind it up first, otherwise you'd be choking on some pretty sharp sticks. Fresh rosemary would be wonderful. The ham added enough salt that I didn't need to add any. Crisp bacon pieces might be tasty in this if you don't have ham.
I made homemade bread to go with it, and since the soup was done a little before the bread, I filled my bowl with soup to let it cool while the bread finished. It smelled so good that I had it half eaten before I got the bread out of the oven.
This made enough for 6 large servings with one small serving for lunch the next day.