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February 9, 2013

Cream of Split Pea Crepes

I love the taste of split peas. As a child in war-time Hungary I got to eat a lot of it. The split pea soup was made in old fashioned bath tubs and laddled out to hungry civilians. I feel lucky. A French friend of mine hates carrots. He got carrot soup almost every day and to this day can't stand the stuff.

One day looking around for a filling for palacsinta* (Hungarian crepes, palatschinken or palachinka in Austria) I found cream of split peas in the refrigerator and decided to give it a try. It tasted amazingly good. Even though it was made as a salty dish a sweet aftertaste comes through markedly. Since I no longer tolerate sugar but still have a sweet tooth, it was very gratifying.

Cream of Split Peas



Rinse the split peas under running water until the water runs clear.

Place the peas in a tall pot and add four cups of water. The peas will foam and using a tall pot helps to avoid spilling the foam and making a mess. Let the peas soak for an hour or two -- it cuts down on cooking time and saves fuel.

Bring to a boil at medium heat and skim off any foam that forms.

Cooking time will vary with your altitude and the age of the peas, probably around an hour or so. Cook them until tender. Add water as needed to keep peas well covered.

When almost done, add the chicken bouillon cube and simmer for another quarter of an hour.

Put the peas and all the remaining liquid in a blender and blend at slow speed until smooth. Transfer to plastic container and let it cool. When cool, put the lid on the container and store it in the refrigerator. After a couple of hours it should have the thick consistency of jelly.

Palacsinta Filling

Making the palacsinta can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make the process but it will have to wait for another day for my version.

In Hungary they put some filling on one side of the crepe and roll it up unto long tube. Often several of them are placed in a baking pan for reheating with extra filling added on top. This works with bulky filling but with cream of split peas the French way works better. Spread a little bit of filling on half a crepe and fold in four.

As I said, the cream of split peas makes a great filling for crepes or as a side dish with just about any meal. Or use it to make pea soup!


Denny Schlesinger

* "cs" in Hungarian is pronounced like "ch" in chicken in English.

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Last updated February 9, 2013.