Split pea soup, an American classic, is high on my list of great comfort foods. You can make this one with green or yellow split peas; the vegetables and barley make it even more enticing. A meal in a bowl, you need just add salad and fresh bread and you're all set.
Serves: 8 or more
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium potatoes or 1 medium-large sweet potato,
scrubbed or peeled, and diced
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 pound green or yellow split peas, rinsed and sorted
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh dill for garnish, optional
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden.
Add 8 cups of water and all the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes.
Stir, then add 2 additional cups of water. Simmer for another 40 to 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender and the peas are mushy. Serve at once, or let the soup stand for an hour or two, then heat through as needed. Top each serving with chopped fresh dill or a few sprigs, if you'd like.
Note: The soup thickens considerably as it stands. Add more water as needed, then taste to correct the seasonings.
- Explore other recipes for hearty winter soups.