water, or 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups water
dry thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, as needed,to taste
In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft. Add peas, ham bone, water, bay leaves and thyme. Cover bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until peas are very tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove ham bone and cool. Remove any meat from bone and chop; reserve to add to soup before serving.
For a smoother texture, remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. (Or cool and process in a blender or food processor). For a thicker consistency, return soup to the stove and simmer until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add reserved ham meat, salt and pepper to taste. 3. Serve warm, garnished with fresh thyme.
If using all water to cook peas, add 1 tsp of salt during cooking. Instead of a ham bone, add chopped ham or sliced sausage, browned in an oiled skillet, to soup, just before serving. To make in a slow cooker, add chopped onion, carrots, peas, ham bone, bay leaves and thyme to slow cooker. Add 6 cups of water or broth. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours (low for 8 to 10 hours) or until peas are tender, adding additional water as needed. Remove bay leaves and discard. Blend and serve as directed in steps 2 and 3.