I made split pea soup last week with 2 pounds of peas just bought at Walmart. They are in the same isle as the dry beans. My recipe is from the Hungry Dutchman, a now defunct restaurant that used to be in SW Denver, from the recipe book that they used to sell in the foyer. My mother made this often back in the 70's and 80's whenever she had a bone left from a baked ham. I bought a ham just so that I'd have a good meaty bone for this soup.
This is a good, hearty winter soup, and the recipe makes enough to eat today and plenty to freeze for some future tomorrow - the 2 of us have had 3 meals from it and still have enough in the freezer for at least 2 more. That's pretty cheap eating, especially when you figure in the multiple meals we got from the ham, baked ham dinner, ham sandwiches and strips cut for chef's salad, plus a bag still in the freezer.
My recipe is as follows, with directions rewritten for plagiarism avoidance.
Dutchman Split Pea Soup
3/4 cup butter, divided
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, cleaned, stripped and chopped
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 lb dry, split peas
1 meaty ham hock (preferably from a previously served ham--better than a purchased hock - the one I used this time was from a 10 pound bone-in ham)
4 slices bacon, cooked, drained and broken up
1/2 cup flour
5-6 qts. water (Reality is the size of your stock pot - mine is 16 quarts) (I also added a quart of chicken stock just cuz I felt like it).
3 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Melt 1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter in a large stock pot. Add the chopped celery, carrots and onion and cook until the onion is transparent.
Mix in the cooked bacon, water, peas, and place the ham hock in the pot.
Add salt and pepper
Bring to a boil, then cook, covered, approximately 2 hours on med-low heat until the peas are thoroughly cooked, approaching mushy.
Remove the ham hock, let it cool, then remove and shred the meat.
I used a stick blender to blend the veggies into the soup, then returned the shredded ham that I stripped from the bone back to the pot.
In a small saucepan make a white roux by melting 1/2 C butter then mixing in 1/2 C flour and cook about 2 minutes, until the flour is cooked.
Ladle several scoops of of the cooked soup to the white sauce base, then whisk thoroughly. Return to the soup pot and stir until well blended. Boil for a minute to thicken and you're done.