Split peas are produced by harvesting the peapods when they are fully mature and then drying them. Once they are dried and the skins removed, they split naturally. Since they have been split, they can then absorb water faster than whole beans and peas. No need to rehydrate overnight. Peas have nourished man since prehistoric times. This small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family is most popular in soup recipes, but it is also used to make dahl, the classic Indian dish, or cooked, pureed and seasoned with herbs and spices for a delicious side dish.