Split Pea Soup

At the first sign of cold weather, break out the split peas for a hearty pot of soup. The prep process is simple and, before you know it, those dried peas have softened into a smooth and heartwarming soup. Traditional split pea soup often uses ham for its smoked meat flavor, but you can also make a delicious meat-free soup, seasoned with carrots, celery and various spices, if you prefer a vegetarian version. Even better, before serving your soup, top the bowls with a garnish of homemade croutons. Check out Food & Wine's guide to split pea soup for more recipes and ideas on preparing this fail-safe, delicious soup.

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Split Pea Soup Recipes
From vegan split pea soup to the classic ham version, here are Food & Wine's best split pea soup recipes.
Sweet Pea Soup with Ham and Croutons
Rating: Unrated 5331
Instead of the usual starchy split peas, chef Chad Newton of American Box Lunch in San Francisco blends fresh sweet peas—at their peak in spring—with spinach to make a silky, vibrantly green soup that's good hot or cold. More Great Soups
Split-Pea Soup with Portobellos
Rating: Unrated 2659
Meaty portobellos are especially good for adding substance and flavor to this soup, but shiitakes or other mushrooms will work well, too. You can also add a ham hock to the pot while the split peas cook, if you like. Plus:  More Soup Recipes 
Indian Split-Pea and Vegetable Soup
Rating: Unrated 2
Carrots, white potatoes, and spinach are our vegetables of choice here, but you could try green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. Another option: Pass some plain yogurt at the table to stir into each serving for a touch of tang. Slideshow:  Best Vegetable Soups