Many years ago, I decided to make Split Pea Soup. My daughter was not happy. She moped and whined the way that only an eight-year-old can mope and whine the way only a right winger caught in a lie can mope and whine. She told me she hates pea soup. I told her she had never had it. She said she knew she would hate it.

I made the soup. I put the soup in front of her. She looked at the bowl of soup, looked up at me, and said, "Oh. I thought it would be yellow."

Split Pea Soup

1/2 lb (usually one bag) green split peas

2 pats butter

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalks, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves (remember they are in there, you should remove them before you serve them. or warn the guests.)

1 well-rinsed smoked hock (not a ham hock -- smoked hocks are big, only have two bones, have very little fat, and have no skin.)

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

Salt and Pepper

The day before you cook the soup, immerse the smoked hock in a large pot of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for a couple of hours until the hock is tender. Remove it, let it cool, and dice up about half the meat on it (or use a half-pound of smoked ham and skip this step (lazy version)). Save the leftover meat and the water for future meals (the reddish-brown water is a great base for other soups).

Melt the butter in your soup pot. While that happens, pick over and rinse the peas (remove any rocks). Saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until the onion turns translucent. Add the bay leaves, about 1 liter of water, the beans, and the smoked hock meat.

Cover and simmer for about an hour. Add the potato, adn simmer for another half hour, until the peas are tender and the potato is cooked.

Put half the soup in a blender and process until smooth. Pour it back in with the rest of the soup, add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with croutons.

(Those antipeaistas can then call out for a pizza while the true gourmands enjoy the soup.)