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Old 03-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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My green split peas aren't getting soft!

Thought I'd make a green pea 'stew' of sorts, using curried powder and such....it's been cooking for 2 hours now, and the
dried peas are still crunchy.

i finally transferred the whole mess to my pressure cooker, and hope we can have some for lunch soon....

anyone else have difficulty cooking dried green split peas?

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Old 03-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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The time cooking can be affected by the age of the split peas. I've had it happen with great northern beans, but not split peas.

With the great northern beans, I soaked them for 3 DAYS and cooked for 4 hours, and they never softened.

I'd suggest you give it up to 2 more hours, Keep stirring because when the split peas do soften, they will drop the soft "mush" to the bottom of the pot and can scorch, ruining the whole potful.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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Note that if you added any sort of acidic ingredient, for example tomatoes, vinegar, or citrus juices, that can significantly impact cooking time of dried legumes. I've also read that salt, even in the form of chicken broth, can have an effect, although I always salt the cooking liquid for beans and haven't found it to be a problem.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Salt is fine. People even personal in salty water.

Acid is not.

Also hard water can hamper softening.

But the likely cause is old legumes.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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This question comes up here occasionally Soma. It's been concluded that the peas are too old........likely years old as in sitting at the back of a grocery shelf or in a pantry. I've probably made a hundred pots of my favorite pea soup over the years and it only happened to me once, but once was more than enough. I don't have a bag of peas on hand right now, but I'd love to know if they have an expiration date on the bag. They certainly should have if they don't!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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For the past 8 years or so I've had this problem with split peas. Growing up my grandmother used to make split pea soup all the time and I NEVER had hard peas in her soup. It seems like something has changed in the past few years (possibly GMO peas). When I make split pea soup I make it in my crockpot and cook them on low for 8 - 10 hours and I use peas that I've purchased within the past 3 - 6 months. I just find it hard to believe that in the past 8 or so years I haven't had one pot of soup come out right.
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:16 PM   #7
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Welcome to Discuss cooking stregawoman!

Now you're scaring me! I bought some ham hocks and peas the other day to make the beloved soup so I'll just hope for the best and make a report after it's made.

Edit: I just checked my bag of peas, and they do have a "best by use date" on the package, so we'll see.
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:22 PM   #8
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Yes, welcome to DC, Stregawoman! I make spit pea soup in the CP all the time, and thankfully have never had the problem of hard peas. I'm wondering if using a stick blender might help, as well as using enough liquid.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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Report: Soup is done and the peas have liquified as I had hoped and expected. The just bought pea package said the best use by date is 2015 and that's a shorter shelf life than I had expected. Interesting.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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I was curious, so I got out my package of split peas that I bought last week and looked to see if there was a 'use by' date. There was, it's January of 2015. Split pea soup is a fave of mine and I make it often.

I usually use about half of the 1 lb. package at a time and ignore the package directions of simmering about an hour until tender - that's not nearly long enough. I cover the peas by about double as much water, slowly simmer, and once they start cooking down, whisk it really good every so often, adding chopped carrots, celery, and onion when it is nearly done.

I've tried different ways of cooking it over the years, by replacing the water with chicken broth, or adding different herbs or spices, for example. My fave way is just split peas, water, S and P, a few veggies, and maybe a bay leaf. I guess I just love the flavor of the peas themselves.

I think I'm going to have to make a pot of split pea soup tomorrow, after reading this thread.

Ooops, forgot to add....smoked pork neckbones or ham hocks are awesome in split pea soup, too, I'll have to go hunting in the freezer to see if I have some. :-)
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