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Split Pea Soup

3 pounds dry split peas
1 pound, cut coarse yellow onions
1 pound, cut coarse carrots
1 pound, cut coarse potatoes
1 pound ham hocks with bones
bay Leaf
Habanero sauce

Wash split peas. Wash but do not peel potatoes. Peel onions and
carrots. Cut vegetables coarsely (1-2 inch pieces). Rinse ham
hocks. Put all into slow cooker or thick pot. Cover with water.
Toss in 2-4 tablespoons of salt, about half that much pepper, and
a few dollops of the habanero sauce. If you are worried about "too
spicy", use no more than five shakes of the habanero sauce. Believe
me, you won't taste "hot" unless you use more. Add bay leaf (or
two) and bring to a boil. Boil for a while and skim off the scum
that collects at the top. Boil until no more scum appears. Turn
down heat, cover, simmer for several hours until done. You may
need to add more water while boiling it. Taste after several hours
and add salt and pepper to adjust. Pull out the ham hocks and
remove the meat from the bones if you feel like it. By this time,
there should be a liberal amount of pork fat on top of the soup.
Skim it off with a spoon. If you've got a lot of time and room in
the fridge, let the soup cool, covered. Put into fridge overnight.
Then you can pull the congealed fat off the top with ease.

It is extremely good dished into a large bowl with a big hunk of
brown bread in the middle.


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