1. Soak peas overnight in enough water to cover... this step is optional.
2. In a stock pot over medium heat, bring the cooking oil to a sizzle, but not quite smoking. Add in the veggies, including the split peas. Allow to cook until the veggies are crisp tender. Add in the ham and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add seasonings, salting with a light hand.
4. Continue to cook for about 2 or 3 hours, or until peas are soft. Add water and salt, if and when needed.