Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Favorite Soups: Split Pea and Barley Soup and Some More

As you probably know, I've been focusing on getting organized since the start of the new year. I'd say it's going swimmingly well. I'm pretty much following this 365 day organizing calendar that I found on Pinterest. I'm certainly not perfect, but even following along with the calendar in my own imperfect way, I'm decluttering, getting rid of stuff we don't use in droves and generally getting stuff organized.

Hence the new meal planning for the kids, grocery shopping and salad prep systems. And this all got me thinking, a few years ago, when I turned my life around and got really healthy for the first time in my life, I used to make a gigantic pot of soup every weekend.  At least half of the soup would go into two serving (4 cup) deli containers in a big case freezer in my basement that my dear hubby bought me for the storage of all of this soup. And that went on for months, so by the time winter hit, I had squirreled away a lot of soup that kept us eating uber healthy through the winter.

The next summer, I did the same thing, but not as frequently.

This past summer, not at all. Whatever soup I made got eaten and I just wasn't making huge pots of soup like I used to.

But in thinking about this whole menu planning and making life easier in general, I'm wondering whether I should go back to the weekly huge pot of soup. I know I'm going to do it this coming up weekend and I've already planned what I'm making. It's a recipe that Chris-Anna told me about. Seems it's a relatively healthy favorite of hers from the restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen. But of course, we had to make it even healthier!

Split Pea and Barley Soup
serves 6-8
adapted from California Pizza Kitchen's Pea and Barley Soup

print me!

1/2 cup pearl barley
1 3/4 cups water
1 pound dried green split peas
2 quarts water
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp cumin
2 cups diced carrots (3 medium carrots)
3 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
1 1/4 cups diced celery (3 large stalks)

Place barley and 1 3/4 water into a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until barley is cooked and water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot or dutch oven, combine peas, 2 quarts water, bay leaves, soy sauce or tamari, thyme, garlic, sage and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in carrots, onions and celery. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check to see if peas are completely soft, if not continue to simmer until they are soft.

Turn heat off. Remove bay leaves and discard. Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree soup, leaving it as chunky you prefer or puree completely. Stir in barley and serve.

Here's some other soups that rock that I plan on making double batches of in the upcoming weeks:

Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Indian Spice
HGK's Energy Soup
Chaya's Carrot Soup
Coconut Curry Kale, Chick Pea and Sweet Potato Stoup

What's your favorite soup? 

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