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
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."
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 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
Slow cook your split pea soup while you are out for the day and a delicious dinner will be ready when you arrive back home! This is a real stick-to-your-ribs soup. The ham hock gives a great smoky flavor.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This old-fashioned favorite is not only a snap to make but it's economical, too, confirms Laurie Todd of Columbus, Mississippi. Carrots, celery and onion accent the subtle flavor of the split peas, while a ham bone adds a meaty touch to this hearty soup. It's sure to chase away autumn's chill.