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Pea Soup

2 C split peas
5 C chicken stock
5 C water
1/2 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped carrots
1/4 C chopped onions
1 large ham hock
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
1 T Pickapeppa or Worcestershire sauce
1 t Crystal or Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley as a garnish

Wash, soak and drain the peas. Heat the stock and water in a large saucepan, then add the peas and ham hock, bring to a gentle boil, and cook for one or two hours. Remove the hock, cut the ham off the bone, chop the meat into bite-size pieces and set it aside, returning the bone to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients except salt, pepper and parsley; then cook for an additional hour.

Discard the bone. Puree the soup to the desired consistency (not too smooth!) in a food mill or processor. Return the soup to the pot, add the ham pieces, correct the seasonings, reheat slightly, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with croutons or crusty bread on the side.