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1 lb. dried split peas, yellow or green
1/4 c. diced salt pork
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 qts. water
2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 ham bone or sm. smoked ham hock
1 bay leaf, crushed
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Croutons, optional

Cover peas with water and soak overnight. Next day, bring peas to boil. Cover pan, remove from heat and soak one hour. Saute salt pork in large pan until crisp and browned; remove pork and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to remaining fat and saute until golden. Add to pan the drained peas and remaining ingredients. Simmer 2 hours or until peas are tender. Strain through a food mill; reheat and if necessary, thin with hot water. Sprinkle with reserved diced pork when served. Add croutons if desired.

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