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Mar 5, 2007 09:36 AM

Split Pea soup - help please!

Ok, so I decided to try split pea soup. I followed the recipe

it did not mention soaking the dried peas first so I didn't, just figured it wasn't necessary in this recipe since no mention. Now I'm beginning to wonder as it doesn't seem like they are getting soft. Is there any way to help them cook/soften or do I have to toss the nice batch? They are simmering (have been for 40 minutes). Any advise?

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  1. I never soak my split peas. You still have another 40 minutes to simmer, right? I think you'll be fine.
    The recipe I use simmers the soup for a total of two hours, so I would imagine you can simmer your soup longer if need be.

    1. I have made this recipe as is says, no soaking and it turned out great. (Though I did double the ham I think...) Don't worry!


      1. dried peas and beans can vary in cooking time, it's not always cut and dry. they'll cook down eventually.

        1. There is no reason to soak split peas. They WILL disintegrate during the cooking process. Split Pea Soup is a staple in our house in cold weather. I make it "by heart," and have never soaked the peas. Don't soak the small white beans that also go into my recipe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            So that's what I've been doing wrong! Next time I'll soak them all night. I hate it when the peas won't disintegrate--I like pea soup where you cannot indentify a single pea. Thick, green, and lumpy. YUMMY!!!!

            1. re: John_M

              I tried soaking the peas, and the soup turned out perfectly. This saved me time, energy, and money. So it seems cooking peas is about the same as cooking beans. If you want to save cooking time, soak beforehand.

          2. A word or two about soaking or par-boiling: I've gotten into the routine of par-boiling the split peas for five minutes and then let them stand in the pot covered for an hour. I then get rid of this first water and proceed to prepare the soup. I find that this method seems to make the split pea soup less flatulent.

            Now a word or two about the split peas getting soft. I've found that when I make a vegetarian split pea soup that the split peas don't seem to become smooth, even after 1-1/2 hours of cooking. I find that I need to puree the soup in a food processor to achieve the smoothness. I've subsequently found that when I make the soup with ham hocks, the split peas do achieve a smoothness after a reasonable amount of cooking time. I'm wondering if the fat in the ham hocks somehow allows the split peas to attain the required smoothness.