A dried variety of a yellow or green pea, which is referred to as a field pea and belongs to the legume family. This pea is grown for the purpose of drying. Once dried, the pea is sold whole or split in half along its natural seam, thus the name, "split pea." The whole peas may require presoaking, while the split peas do not require presoaking before they are used for cooking. Both varieties are used in purées, soups, and other food dishes requiring a thicker food base.