Sort peas to make sure there's no rocks. Put them in cold water and bring the water to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the peas soak for an hour or more.
Turn the heat back on and bring the peas to a gentle simmer. Mince the garlic. Dice the onion. Fry the garlic until aromatic, then add onions and fry until translucent. Dice carrots. Add everything to the pot with peas.
Fry the ham steak to bring out the flavor (optional.) Add to pot.
Simmer until peas are mushy - about one hour. Simmer longer to let flavors blend if you have time. Finish soup by adding salt, pepper, sugar, and sriracha sauce.
The soup can taste a little bitter and bland until the salt and sugar get added. If it's drab, add a little more–the soup will really be delicious once it's spiced properly.