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Dried peas remain hard despite soaking and cooking ...?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am fond of making (and eating) pea soup with lots of diced potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and bacon. As I don't want to use canned peas, mostly because I dislike producing so much trash, I normally use dried peas, but there is a big problem: My peas seem to stay hard and chewy no matter what.

 

They can be eaten without a problem, there is no danger of loosing a tooth or something, but they are definitley chewy. The last time i soaked them in plenty of water for more than 15 hours and simmered them for 70 minutes as advised on the package. I didn't even salt the cooking water because I have heard that legumes do not cook all the way through if you do that (even though peas are apparently an exception).

 

Any ideas why my peas don't get nice and soft? Should I just cook or soak them longer? Is it maybe because I DIDN'T put salt in the water? My only explanantion is that our tap water here is pretty "hard"/chalky ... could I maybe soak and cook them in bottled mineral water?

 

I do not want to use a pressure cooker or soda in the water. Would appreciate some pro tips :chef:

post #2 of 9
The peas might be very old.
In that case they just won't get soft.
I would not soak them any longer. 12 to 15 hours is more than enough.
You might try simmering them a bit longer,.
I would definitely buy another batch and go about things exactly the same as you have been doing.
Good luck!

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post #3 of 9
Are you using split peas or whole peas? I use split peas and find an over night soak in lightly salted water followed by cooking them alone for an hour the finishing them in the soup is good.
post #4 of 9

I have a recipe for "erbspuree" (pea soup/puree) in my Time Life book The Cooking of Germany.  Once soaked and cooked for awhile, the mixture is put thru a food mill to puree.

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post

The peas might be very old.
 

 

For the first batch I used peas that had been sitting in my kitchen cabinet for a while, but for the second I used peas that I had bought just a few weeks ago ... of course there is not telling how long they had been sitting in the store, I have a hunch most people around here would favour instant ready canned peas ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

Are you using split peas or whole peas?

Nope, whole. Maybe I'll try getting spilt peas.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post
 

I have a recipe for "erbspuree" (pea soup/puree) in my Time Life book The Cooking of Germany.  Once soaked and cooked for awhile, the mixture is put thru a food mill to puree.

At the end of the cooking time I jam in a stick blender and blend a small "area" of the pot, so I have a nice creamy consistency while still havng enough whole peas and chunks of the other stuff in it, I find it looks better that way. I'll keep that in mind as a last resort ... perhaps cook and blend the peas separately so I can sitll get some texture from the carrots and potatoes.

post #6 of 9

one can encounter this problem with any dried legumes - all the beans and all the peas and all the . . .

 

"too old" is the usual suspicion, but actually that is not the basic problem.  the stuff is left in the field to dry, then harvested, then shelled, then stored, transported and sold, then 'local stored'

 

anywhere along that chain of events and situations where conditions are not good the legumes lose moisture and if they lose too much they'll likely never re-hydrate properly.

 

so what's the difference?  in the end, none.  but some precautions....

if you live in the high desert, keep your stuff in a sealed glass/metal container.

if you live in the bayou, not likely to be a problem.....

 

if the stuff was properly "fresh" when you bought it, it should keep well for about a year 'in house' under proper storage.

check the package - there's usually a lot code and frequently you can decipher the packing date.

I've personally 'had trouble' with off-brand types - if you have a choice, shop in an ethnic market where the stock turns over faster.

 

I like to keep a small stock on the shelf - and if I'm not going to use them immediately I put a small amount in water and soak "just to be sure."  it's better than having a ham hock a-going, peas/bean soaked, two feet of snow on the ground and _then_ find out the peas are mini-marbles.....

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

That doesn't sound so good ... I don't think I have any ethnic markets where I live, maybe I'll try out some other brands, from other supermarkets ... if that doesn't work I may have to go canned or all-pureed ...

post #8 of 9

First thought is OLD peas??  Have had same results with legumes of unknown age??

 

Whenever I have a nice ham bone, totally torn...split pea or navy bean soup?!?  I NEVER soak split peas??  Just put bone and veggies (onion, celery, carrots) in big pot of water and dump in a bag-o split peas.  results are what we call"exorcist" soup... thick and creamy.

post #9 of 9

I actually add salt to the soaking water - not the cooking water, as salt "softens" the starch molecules of the pea, for the protein molecules I add ground papaya seeds to the cooking water, well know for tenderizing meat/protein. 

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