I just made a split pea soup for dinner (I've only been cooking about once a week for a year or so, and this was my first time cooking split peas). The flavors came out really nicely, but even after blending the soup had a course or brittle texture, almost as if the peas hadn't finished cooking yet. I was under the impression that once they were cooked enough to bite into easily, they were done (I'm thinking a similar feel to al dente pasta is what I'm supposed to be going for - is that the right direction?). I did taste before blending (stick blender), and the peas were tender, but even at that stage a little brittle/gritty. Should I have let them simmer a while longer, or would it be better to pre-soak the peas before cooking? If so, what would be a good pre-soak time? Since they're split, I would imagine they'd soak up water pretty quickly. Also, could I use the pre-soak (if it's even necessary) as an opportunity to flavor the peas? I know that's about a million questions, but any help with any of them would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! PS: I did check through the peas for stones before using, and I did rinse them - that much I figured out on my own, but that's my limit (so far).