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Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham

My best guess at Mom's incredibly simple and perfect recipe.  I was quite surprised when I asked her about the recipe and she reported that she didn't use one, because it was so easy that she just made it.  "What spices did you use?"  "I don't remember using any."  I was deeply skeptical about the spices, but turns out, they're really not needed.

It's pretty much the recipe on the back of the package, but no potatoes, and I just like what parsnips add to it.

2 quarts water

1 lb yellow split peas

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced thickly
2 medium parsnips, sliced thickly
4-5 stalks celery

2-3 ham hocks

freshly ground pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients except the pepper to a 6 quart stockpot or pressure cooker.   If using a pressure cooker, bring it up to pressure, and cook 20 minutes at 15 lbs pressure.  Let cool completely before releasing the pressure.   In a regular stock pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer, and cook several hours until the peas dissolve and the vegetables are very soft.

Remove the ham hocks, and puree the soup.   Remove and finely chop the bits of meat from the bone.   Add back to the soup and season to taste with pepper.  

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