I gave in to my paranoia and removed one of the neck bones while the soup still had another hour to cook.
Oh hell, I just lost two full paragraphs ... I know it had something to do with chopped herring ... no, I am not making that up. I was planning a luncheon, and I had a theme, and a menu and I'd even designed an invitation. It was witty culinary repartee and now it's lost. Nuts.
Well, at least I didn't lose the recipe, which I got from my grandmother-who-raised-me many years ago. That woman had a way with onions, and I can't deny ...
The Original Split Pea Soup
1 pound split green peas, rinsed under cool water (don't skip this)
2 large grated carrots (yes grated, not sliced, diced, chopped or minced. Oh, and grate them yourself)
3 stalks chopped celery
3 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds beef, ham, or pork bones, optional
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
black pepper, to taste
2 quarts water
3-4 kosher frankfurters, sliced
Melt the butter in a large deep pot on medium high. Add 2 of the chopped onions, and sauté until golden brown. This should take awhile to get the right degree of caramelization, and lower the heat as needed to avoid burning the onions. Add the water, and then all the remaining ingredients except the frankfurters. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the meat bones from the soup, remove the meat from the bones and return it to the soup. Add the sliced frankfurters and simmer another 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir well to break up the peas.