I first had this at my aunt and uncle's, had never heard of split pea soup with anything other than ham in it. Loved this, I definitely prefer spareribs to ham in this soup! Boiling the ribs in the soup and then letting it simmer for hours leaves the meat more tender than the crockpot! As written, it was a bit bland for our tastes, we added an extra tsp of the hickory salt and will try adding more peppercorns next time (I couldn't even taste the pepper this time). I added one tsp of pepper to the leftovers and that seemed to help.