Are u supposed to wash dried lentils and peas?
I am going to try to make both a lentil and split pea soup (2 soups, not together). Am I supposed to wash these (when they are dry) before cooking them? Also, I am not really sure what recipes mean when they say to sort the peas or lentils?
Second, do you all typically put cream (or half and half) in split pea? Or just the broth?
yes, you should wash them both (not together). And when they tell you to sort the peas and/or lentils, it's because if you don' t you might accidentally end up with chunks of mud or rock in the middle of whatever you actually intended to make. I only ever find rocks/mud about one time in ten, but sort anyway because, YIKES! biting into mud or rock is horrible. Do sort, do wash, and enjoy.
Not a split pea soup expert, but I have never put any milk product in mine.
I find that lentils are easier to sort when they are dry. I spread them out on the counter, pick out any little grains of dirt or twigs, and collect the lentils in a large strainer (with small holes, of course). Then I rinse them thoroughy, running my fingers through them, right in the strainer under the faucet.
I also agree with Quine re: pureeing the peas. Pureeing about one quarter of the peas creates a nice creamy base without diluting flavor, as any milk product would do. Then again, I like to start with a little bit of pancetta in the mirepoix, which certainly adds richness to the flavor.
I spread the dry lentils on a tray and pick out any rocks or chunks of dirt. I also recommend that you put them in a deep bowl and wash them a few times more, letting any dirt or hollow lentils float to the top and discard them. (hollow means the bugs have eaten the inside or it is rotten). I also soak for 20 minutes and discard the soaking water.