Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and
soak 8 hours or overnight.
Score the ham hock.
Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to
Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour.
Drain and set
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the celery and
carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the ham
hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown.
drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2
Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook,
stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour.
(Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)
Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Adjust the seasoning, to taste,
and serve immediately.