If I rated this soup on flavor alone it would get 5 stars +, but...I cut the water by half and it was too thin. Though I was dismayed with the watery consistency, I was delighted with the overall blending of the ingredients flavors. I used a meaty ham bone from New Years dinner, added celery and carrots. For hot sauce I used Cholula because the heat doesn't dominate the wonderful flavor of this hot sauce. I simmered the soup for a couple hours then put it in fridge overnight. Next day I cooked it down until right consistency for us. I didn't puree part of the soup which is probably a step that does help to thicken it. We enjoy the less smooth texture of split pea soup but I may try the puree thing next time. This soup is so good that there will be next times. It's well worth the little effort to correct the consistency to our likings.
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If I rated this soup on flavor alone it would get 5 stars +, but...I cut the water by half and...