You’ll have to do something with that ham bone, my mother-in-law said. A moment later she took matters into her own hands, headed for the neighborhood market, and returned clutching a bag of bright green split peas. She’s all about making easy stuff that tastes great, and this soup fit the bill. It was perfect after a chilly midday walk through Seattle’s sculpture park.

Sally’s Split Pea Soup

3 cups split peas / 8 cups water or stock / ham bone / 1 onion, minced / 2 carrots, minced / bay leaf / salt & pepper / extra ham to taste

Put the split peas, water, ham bone, onion, carrots, and bay leaf in a heavy stewpot. Bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for an hour or until peas are tender. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Puree two cups of the soup in a blender, more for a smoother texture, then return to the pot. Pull ham meat from the bone and chop, return to the pot, add extra ham if you wish, then cook down to desired consistency. Serve with crusty bread.