Soak the peas overnight in cold water.
Drain the peas and place in a pan with bay leaves, garlic and plenty of fresh water.
Bring to a gentle boil and cook until peas are soft (usually 40-60 minutes)
Remove from heat, drain but retain the cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaves but leave the garlic.
Puree the peas, adding in the cooking liquid to get the right consistency.
Serve as is, or drizzled with balsamic vinegar.