I had this Split pea and Barley soup in a restaurant when I visited California few months ago. It was really creamy and delicious. I looked for the recipe online finally found the one that I thought is going to work. It was raining and chilly here yesterday and hot soup with crispy pita bread at the end of the day was perfect.
I find soups to be very hearty and filling. We are so used to eating rice everyday that eating soup is like eating nothing. But after looking at the amount of empty carbs rice is filling us with, I prefer making these nutrition filled recipes once in a while.
• Sort and rinse the peas. Add 3-4 cups of cold water and soak them overnight.
• In a big soup pot, heat oil on medium. Add diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
• Let the vegetables sweat out for 5-6 minutes.
• Add bay leaf, vegetable stock, water and the soaked split peas to the veggies. Also add dried basil, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer till peas are tender to touch.
• Meanwhile sort and rinse barley. In a medium pot, add 3 cups of water and barley and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 25-30minutes or until barley is tender. Drain barley and keep aside.
• If you like your soup chunky, you can add barley to the cooked peas at this stage and simmer for another 10 minutes.
• I like my soup smooth and also I wanted to get the same texture of the soup I had before. So I used an immersion blender to make a smooth soup. You can blend it in batches in regular blender.
• Add cooked barley to the peas and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mix well.
• Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
We had our creamy split pea soup with crispy pita bread. This soup freezes and reheats well.
• Pre soaking split peas reduces the cooking time to more than half. You can use split peas without soaking too; you will have to simmer longer.
• Dried peas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is believed to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels; and insoluble fiber helps to speed up the passage of food through the intestinal system and improves regularity. Like other legumes, they're also an excellent source of folate (folic acid) and thiamin, another B vitamin. Dried peas also supply some manganese, potassium, and iron.
• Barley on the other hand is high in carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants; is a source of protein, calcium and phosphorus and B vitamins; and is low-fat and cholesterol-free.