Sort and wash peas; place in a large Dutch oven. Add water 2 inches above peas, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 1 hour.
Drain peas, and return to Dutch oven; add salt pork and next 3 ingredients. Cover with water; simmer, covered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until peas are tender and water has cooked very low. Remove salt pork, if desired.
Add 2 1/2 cups water and remaining 5 ingredients to peas. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Discard bay leaf before serving.