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Split Pea Soup Problem

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I'm having problems with my soup! This was my first effort making split pea soup and the peas have not softened.

I soaked the peas overnight and cooked it for an hour and a flag. I then put the soup in the blender thinking it would be done,

The soup has good flavor but the peas have not completely broken down. I returned it to the stove and let it cook another hour but the bits of peas are still hard. Should I let it cook longer? Any other advice? Thanks!

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  1. Are your peas old? That happened to me once with some lentils I got from a bulk bin. They turned out to be ancient.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Isolda

      I don't know how old the peas are. I'm going to keep it cooking and hope for the best.

    2. I made split pea soup last week. I did not soak the peas overnight or put the soup in the blender. I cooked my soup over very low heat for about 3 hours, sometimes adding additional stock if the soup was getting too thick before it was done.

      1 Reply
      1. re: anndillman

        What ann said - we made it the other night and they were done in an hour. I know they had to be last years peas. You might run them through a food mill but the blender should work. I like it more like stew anyway since we used chucks of guanciale, carrot, and onions.

      2. Unless you used an acidic ingredient, I can't understand why this would happen. I have made split pea soup with bags of beans that have been on my shelf for a couple of years and never had it take more than 2 hours, if that. No presoaking, and I don't bother to puree because they break down so thoroughly. On one of the bean threads, it was mentioned that oversoaking beans can, counterintuitively, yield tough beans so PERHAPS that is the reason.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          Soaking split peas is unnecessary and can cause this. It will not decrease cooking time, which is IMO 2-3 hours for nice broken down peas.

          1. re: magiesmom

            There is no way that soaking legumes could cause toughness.

          2. re: greygarious

            Hmmm, I'm guessing over soaking was the culprit. I planned on making this yesterday but it got put off, so they soaked for about 36 hours... Bummer!

            1. re: Skyline Time

              Soaking peas makes them powdery and flakey, more like dried dhaal paste than a creamy soup - least that's what I found when I've done it.

              I won't soak anymore. A pressure cooker is a good tool to use btw for beans but I have made lentils once and they just didn't cook, they must have been old.

          3. the jan/feb 2011 edition of cooks illustrated has a recipe. we made it a few days ago and it was the best split pea soup that i have ever had. you should check it out.

            1. Sounds like you've got peas that are known in the industry as "HTC." Yes, they really have an acronym for hard-to-cook. It's a defect that occurs in all kinds of legumes, and is typically caused by improper storage and/or excessive age.

              Your profile doesn't say where you live, but these problems are exacerbated at high elevation. I tried to make a pot of pinto beans at 8500' one time - they simmered for two days and were still hard.

              I've never heard of over-soaking as a problem. I've over-soaked beans dozens of times because of poor planning or absentmindedness, and have never had them turn out hard to cook. So I think the more likely cause of what you're seeing is just that your peas were defective.

              If prolonged simmering hasn't done the trick, your only hope is the pressure cooker. Raising the temperature a few degrees may cause things to finally soften up. Otherwise, start with a fresh batch of peas and you should be fine. Just don't give up - split pea soup is a wonderful thing!

              1. try cooking at a full boil for a while at the start.

                1. good flavor AND not broken down?

                  Can you split pleas like that?