In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and split peas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, until the peas are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the milk and, using a hand-held immersion blender, process until smooth. Add the hot sauce and serve hot.
Recipe from Emeril Lagasse