This soup is not a starter but a substantial meal, our favorite winter soup!! When cold the soup should be thick enough to slice, if not you did not make a good pea soup, (that is what my mother always told me!) Traditionally served with pumpernickel bread. Freezes well. I use 2 1/2 cups of split peas and find that thick enough, but for the true thick Dutch version you should use 3 1/2 cups. After a discussion with other Zaar members I like to add this: If you like, add some chopped carrots to the soup and you can make the soup without having to soak the split peas overnight.