- Rinse and drain peas, picking out any stones. Spray large stockpot with Pam. Inside place peas and ham bone and cover with chicken broth and additional water (or white wine to cover bone). Add vegetables, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Season with salt & pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, skimming scum off top. Cover loosely and cook 1 hour until peas are tender, stirring often. Remove bone and bay leaves. Either press through sieve or leave chunky. Correct seasonings and add ham.
- Ladle into mugs or bowls and top with crunchy croutons.
~ Outside my window
The term arose in 19th century Britain. One of the by-products of the industrial revolution was a massive increase in the smoke and sulphur put into the atmosphere by factories, etc. When combined with fog, the result was totally different to the white fogs seen in rural areas - because of the dirty yellow-brown color, they were named "pea soupers".These poisonous combinations of smoke and fog continued to occur until 1952, when a five-day "pea souper" over London is estimated to have caused 4,000 premature deaths through bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Cold weather meant an increase in coal-burning, and meteorological conditions led to the pollutants being trapped at ground level. Subsequent changes in legislation phased out open coal fires, and "pea soupers" are now a thing of the past in Britain.