Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Split Pea Ham and Barley Soup

Now, I must admit I have never been much of a fan of soups. But LATELY... I guess this winter was just the right kind of cold and I got on a soup and stew kick that left me in LOVE with some new recipes. This one in particular is so fantastic. Super creamy and smooth, without all the cream and butter! And the barley adds just the right touch of chewiness that I so very much love. PLEASE try it, and I bet you, too, will love it! (Picture and recipe courtesy of
The ingredients:
1 cup dry split green peas
1/2 cup medium pearl barley (not quick-cooking barley)
2 cups chopped ham
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
5 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
The instructions:
In a medium bowl or liquid measure, combine the water, bouillon cubes and spices and whisk to combine (it’s okay if the bouillon cubes don’t completely dissolve).
In a medium round slow cooker (about 4-quart), layer peas, barley, ham, carrots, onion and celery. Do not mix. Pour in the water/spices mixture and add the bay leaf to the slow cooker. Don’t stir! Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or on low eight hours, until the peas reach the desired creamy, soft texture. Remove the bay leaf, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately. Upon sitting and/or refrigerating, this soup thickens considerably. Simply add water or chicken broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency before reserving.
(Brown rice makes an excellent barley substitution!)

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