Sort and rinse split peas prior to cooking,
Cover peas with 2 quarts cold water and add ham bone (if desired), onion and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer very gently for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove bone, cut off meat and dice. Return meat to soup and add vegetables. Cook slowly 30-40 minutes until vegetables are soft. Salt and Pepper to taste.