Split pea soup is one of the many autumn-winter comfort dishes in Russia. Pea soup is cooked with rich broth with smoked meat and is served with garlic and croutons. This soup as many other dishes of Russian cuisine has a tendency to become even more delicious in the course of several days after cooking.
One can find a number of recipes of pea soup in many European cuisines. Some variations include pork shanks or pork fat (salo), bacon; Italians cook pea soup with cheese, others like adding tomato juice and sour cream. It is impossible to ascribe pea soup to some particular national cookery, however, there is a common element to every recipe. They are the simplicity of the cooking process and affordable ingredients.
Long time ago when such vegetables as cabbage and potatoes were unknown to people, peas was very rife and especially popular among the poor. Fortunately, nowadays such products as gluten free pea pasta or lactose free pea cheese are gaining popularity in modern vegan and raw food diets.
In Russia pea soup and pea puree is known to everybody from early childhood.
If you want your soup to be thick and rich, it is better to soak the peas in cold water at least for a few hours, or even better overnight.