Split Pea & Barley Soup

As I was walking the dog, I was thinking about the split peas, barley and ham waiting for me at home. I was mentally thinking about the recipe and procedure. One thing that struck me was in all the years of cooking with dried beans I’ve never found a “foreign object” in them. The directions still recommend you spread the beans out and check them and rinse before using. Would you believe I found a little piece of wood among the lentils!

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As I was walking the dog, I was thinking about the split peas, barley and ham waiting for me at home. I was mentally thinking about the recipe and procedure. One thing that struck me was in all the years of cooking with dried beans I’ve never found a “foreign object” in them. The directions still recommend you spread the beans out and check them and rinse before using. Would you believe I found a little piece of wood among the lentils!

Little "foreign object."

Little “foreign object.”

I really didn’t measure much today. Split pea soup is pretty basic. My preference is to precook the barley before adding to the soup. It’s very starchy as are the peas. Just take a cup of barley and cover completely with cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly to get rid of more starch and add to the soup.

While the barley is cooking, dice a couple of onions and some celery stalks (for those who need quantities, think a couple of cups of onion and a cup of celery). Pour enough olive oil in the bottom of a pan to cover (no more than 2 tablespoons). Heat up the pan, then toss in the onions and celery. Stir, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.

minced onion and celery

minced onion and celery

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cut about 2 pounds of ham into small cubes and about 8 carrots into coins. We love garlic, so I minced up about 10 cloves. Add the lentils, barley, ham, carrots and garlic to the onion and celery. Toss in 3 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Cover with cold by about 2 inches (about 10 cups). Bring this to a boil. Cover and let simmer until the peas have lost their shape.

cubed ham

cubed ham

minced garlic and bay leaves

minced garlic and bay leaves

all ingredients in the pan

all ingredients in the pan

cover with cold water

cover with cold water

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Enjoy!

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