Soak the peas overnight, drain & rinse, place in heavy pot, cover with chicken stock. Add onion, garlic, carrots, potato, ham, bay leaf. Bring to a medium boil and let boil for 20-30 minutes, occasionally stirring. You may need to add a cup or two of water while boiling to keep it from getting too thick. Reduce heat to simmer, add salt & pepper to taste. Stir all, cover the pot, let simmer about an hour.
Serve with crusty bread. Serves six.
Packages of dried split peas sometimes come with a flavor packet. You can choose to use it (I don’t), but if you do, eliminate the chicken stock and use water instead.