Split Pea Soup

8 c. water
1 lb. (2 1/4 cups) dried split peas
1 1/2 lbs. smoked ham hocks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2-3 carrots, chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 stalks celery, chopped

Heat water and peas to boiling. Boil for two minutes, then remove from heat and cover. Let sit for one hour. Add ham (whole), onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about one hour. Remove hocks and trim meat from bone. Cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir ham, carrots and celery into soup. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender, about 45 minutes. Serves six.