Whole Green Peas (Psum Sativum) are part of the legume family. Whole peas are husked and about 1/4 of an inch wide and pale green in color. Split peas have a mild flavor and soft texture. The Split Pea has more of an earthy flavor than the whole dried pea, similar to the lentil in versatility and nourishment. Whole Dried Peas have a history going back some 10,000 years. Originally from the Middle East, peas soon spread through the Mediterranean region and on to India and China. The cultivation of peas in Europe helped to stave off a famine in England in 1555. Peas are most commonly used in their split form. Whole Green Peas are an acceptable substitute for fresh peas.
Whole Green Peas were traditionally cooked to a puree and then mashed to make a thick porridge. Peas often break down while cooking and therefore, they make an excellent choice for thick and hearty soups. Peas can also be used to make a mock cream soup for people avoiding dairy products.
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