My grandma's pea soup was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like "dumplings" and sausage. Try it once and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois
Alice Jarrell of Dexter, Missouri waited a long time to get this favorite recipe—but it was well worth it. "I had eaten this soup countless times at a small restaurant in our town," she tells. "When the owner finally retired, he said I deserved the secret recipe and passed it along. Now, my family enjoys it at least once a month!"—Alice Jarrell, Dexter, Missouri
For a different spin on traditional split pea soup, try this recipe. The flavor is peppery rather than smoky, and the corned beef is an unexpected, tasty change of pace.
-Barbara Link, Alta Loma, California
This slow-cooker soup is my secret weapon on busy days. It’s delicious served with oyster crackers tossed in a bit of melted butter and herbs, and then lightly toasted in the oven. —Whitney Jensen, Spring Lake, MI
Field peas that have been dried (split peas) have been a staple soup ingredient for country cooks for years. One super recipe is Wisconsin Split Pea Soup. The recipe was sent in by field editor Linda Rock (left) of Stratford.
"Marjoram, garlic, potatoes and carrots blend nicely with peas in this hearty and economical soup," Linda confirms.
"I also plant peas in my garden each year," she says. "They grow so well here that I pick enough to freeze and enjoy all winter."
Meet the Cook: When my husband and I eat out and enjoy a dish, I go home and try to duplicate it. That's how I came up with this recipe. While it's good at any time, we like it full and hearty over the winter. Our three children are grown. Now, we keep busy watching their children - our six grandchildren - grow.
-Donna Mae Young, Menomonie, Wisconsin
This spicy stew was the main dish at our family's Christmas Eve dinner. The guests, including three vegetarians, were thrilled with the abundance of squash, potatoes, tomatoes and onion. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois