Split Pea Soup

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Last week, I had just come inside from shovelling snow and the smell of this soup convinced me I would soon warm up again. Ahh, I love soup in the winter. I take a soup vacation in the hot weather, but in winter, it is food for the soul and for the extremities.

10 cups water
1 1/2 cups green split peas
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, minced or grated
3 ribs celery, minced
2 bay leaves (one if using dried)
1 smoked pork hock, or leftover ham bone
salt and pepper to taste

Add to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer 2-3 hours, until the peas are soft. Remove hock from pot. Take the meat off the bone, chop it, return it to the soup. Voila.

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