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

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
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
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