In a large saucepan, over medium heat, render the salt pork. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery. Season with black pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf and peas. Add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Reseason if necessary.
**The soup can either be pureed until smooth or served as is with crusty bread.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with parsley.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings