Mondays were washdays at our house when I was a child, and because of it being such a busy day, washdays were always soup days. 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 one and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois
Anna Russell of Peterborough, Ontario uses convenient frozen peas to blend together this fresh-tasting soup flecked with dill. "Serve it as a first course for a summer meal or with a tossed green salad and Fresh rolls for a main course!
Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step further-add crab. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois
I've been making this soup for years. After every holiday where ham is served, the hostess hands me the ham bone and a bag of peas when I leave. I love it with a slice of crusty fresh bread. —Susan Simons, Eatonville, Washington
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
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."