For this delicious, hearty soup you may use either split (yellow) or whole (green) peas. However; the French Canadian prefers the yellow.
In a large soup kettle, soak 1 pound of split (yellow) or whole (green) peas for about 10 hours, or overnight. Rinse the soaked peas; drain; bring them to a boil with 3 quarts cold water and ½ pound salt pork. The pork may be cut up, but it is traditional to leave it in a chunk. Add 1 medium onion (peeled), and a clove or two of garlic (garlic is optional). Some cooks add finely diced carrots, turnips, and a little bay leaf, but the traditional soup contains just the peas, pork, and onion. Simmer the soup, covered, for 2 or 3 hours, until the peas have completely disintegrated. Season to taste and serve. Note: If you add bay leaf, it’s best to remove it before serving.