November 11, 2014

Split Peas & Barley Soup

Split pea & barley soup is a simple "no-fancy" soup made by simmered & pureed dried split green peas along with cooked barley & diced carrots. Split pea soup is often under-rated as a wholesome meal, for it is rich in protein, high in dietary fiber and a great source of complex carbohydrates that helps control blood sugar spikes. This healthy soup can be used as a base for other soups or can be enjoyed as is.

In addition to dried split peas, this soup also has barley which again is a nutritious, high-fiber, high-protein whole grain with numerous health benefits. When cooked, barley has a rich nutty flavor and chewy pasta-like consistency adding some texture and body to this soup.

NOTE: Barley belongs to the group called ‘Gluten grains’, and hence people with gluten-allergy should not use barley. As for this recipe, you can skip barley and enjoy just plain split pea soup which is equally good.

Mashed split pea gives this soup a creamy consistency without any need of cream / extra fat. Carrots and barley adds texture & flavor to this otherwise plain soup. You can also add saute'ed onion, celery for additional flavor/texture boost. Though cooking peas & barley takes about 45-50 mins each, you can cook them parallely on two different stovetops and save some time.

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 30 mins
Cook time - 45-50 mins
Serves - 4-5

1 cup dried, split green Peas
2 Bay leaves
12-14 Cilantro stalks along with leaves

1/2 cup Barley
2-3 small Carrots, chopped

1-2 tbsp Soy sauce / Tamari

Salt & Pepper to taste

Soak barley in 1 cup of water for about 30 mins.

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add split peas, bay leaves and simmer until split peas is completely done & mashable. Stir occasionally so that the peas doesn't stick to the bottom. Let it cool. When cold, remove bay leaves and blend cooked peas along with cilantro leaves & stalks.

In another pan bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Drain barley and add it to the water. To this, add chopped carrots and simmer until barley is tender and chewy.

Add cooked barley & carrots to mashed/blended split peas, add soy sauce / tamari, salt & pepper and bring it to a boil. Incase the soup is too thick, add more water as required.

Serve hot in cups with salted crackers/bread toast on the side. Enjoy!

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