Besides the ham pieces,I add a smoked ham hock to my peasoup. The ham hock really adds the flavor.
Also, I put in 3 cups of chopped leeks instead of onion. I add a diced potato and 2 diced garlic gloves as well.
If you really like a lot of meat (most men do!), add some sliced (bite size) smoked sausage (tender skin) to your soup during the last hour.
Soaking peas overnight is not necessary.
Note: For one pound of peas, you need 10 cups of water for soup.