Split peas, which are part of the legume family, are really nutritious. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat and there is no need for soaking before cooking. When cooked they become very creamy. Green split peas are sweeter and less starchy than the milder yellow split peas.
When I was growing up, my mom always had some kind of a bone to put into any soup, including split pea. She would cook it up with the bone and then remove the meat from it. At that time I thought her soups were always delicious. However, I learned to cook without all the bones and meat and prepare food that is just as tasty and healthier.
“Green split peas are part of the legume family. Split peas are husked (or dehulled) and split in half. The green split pea is about 1/4 of an inch wide and pale green in color. Split peas have a mild flavor and soft texture. The split pea has more of an earthy flavor than the whole dried pea, similar to the lentil in versatility and nourishment.” www.dspdirect.ca/peas.php
When fresh peas are not available or when you want to enjoy a starchier, hardier flavored legume, dried peas are the perfect choice; they are available any time of the year.
“Although they belong to the same family as beans and lentils, they are usually distinguished as a separate group because of the ways in which they are prepared. The different types of peas are all spherical, a feature that also sets them apart from beans and lentils. Dried peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally.” www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=56
Simple Yummy Split Pea Soup
|4 cups water||1 bay leaf (optional)|
|1 cup split peas|
|Bring to boil and simmer for one hour or more until peas are soft. Then add:|
|1 onion, diced||1 tsp. salt|
|½ tsp. garlic powder||2 cups chopped vegetables, i.e., celery, carrots, potatoes, etc.|
|½–1 tsp. sweet basil||More water if needed|
|Cook additional 20–30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Blend until smooth or eat as is.|
|Split Pea Hummus|
|3 cups water||1/4 cup olive oil|
|1 cup dried green split peas||1– 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice|
|1 garlic clove||1/2 tsp. ground cumin|
|½ tsp. salt, or to taste|
|Sort and wash peas. Bring water, garlic and peas to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in salt; cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Combine peas along with rest of ingredients in a food processor with the S blade; pulse 5 to 7 times or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Serve at room temperature.