1 ham bone with some meat
1 pound green split peas
3 large carrots, diced
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 ribs celery, with leaves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pick the meat off the ham bone and reserve. Use it, diced or cut into strips, to garnish the soup.
In a large pot, combine the ham bone with the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper. Cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat and simmer, partially covered, for at least an hour, until the peas are falling apart. You may need to add water as the soup cooks, to keep all the ingredients covered by liquid.
Let the soup cool to warm. Remove the ham bone, and, if you can find it, the bay leaf.
Puree about half the soup, using a food processor, blender, or food mill. Return the pureed portion of soup to the pot.
Taste and check for salt and pepper.
Serve hot, garnished with ham cubes or strips.
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