salt -- to taste Optional: presoak the peas an hour or more to reduce cooking time. There is no need to drain the soaking liquid because split peas are easy to digest. Simmer peas (30 minutes if presoaked, 45-60 if not) until tender. Optional--if using fresh carrot and onion: "sweat" (lightly saute) the carrot and onion in additional butter before adding to the peas. Add fresh carrot, fresh or dried onion, and fresh peas 20-25 minutes before completion. Add frozen carrot, onion, and peas 10 minutes before completion. Add sugar. Puree mixture in blender in small batches to avoid overflowing. Use the heavy cream to assist the process.