Monday, October 14, 2013

Meatless Monday with Mindy #30 - Mashed Pea and Barley Soup

Welcome to the 30th installment of Meatless Monday with Mindy!  

When I cook from a recipe, I always make notes in my cookbooks such as 'Good!', 'yummy' or 'needed (XYZ)' so that I know whether it's a hit, needs some tweaking or it's not worth making again. I must say though, the latter is a rarity.  Sometimes though, a not so good recipe will have good bones. You know, like an old car or a house that needs major renovation, it's has the basics down pat, but just needs to re-think the rest.  Those are the fun ones. Being able to be creative is part of the fun!  I love smelling my seasoning mixes and herbs and imagining what combination of those might taste wonderful together or create the flavor I'm after.  

Tonight was one of those nights. I came across a recipe I had made before, that per my notes, had good bones but needed...something more. This Mashed Pea and Barley soup needed a substantial flavor to match the chunky goodness going on.

This soup reminds me more of a porridge it is so thick and chunky. Along with it's heartiness, it is packed full of good nutrition with split peas, barley and vegetables, and is non-fat so you don't have to worry about your waistline, unless of course, you eat the whole pot.

This soup has in it dried peas. This small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.

Along with the peas, it also has whole grain barley. This is a healthy high-fiber, high-protein whole grain boasting numerous health benefits. When cooked, barley has a chewy texture and nutty flavor, similar to brown rice. Although soup is the most popular way to eat barley, you can use it like any other grain such as couscous or rice. Serve a curry or stir-fry over barley instead of rice or make a barley pilaf. 

Now that you've learned a little about the benefits of the main ingredients in this soup, let's get cookin'!

Mashed Pea and Barley Soup
adapted from California Pizza Kitchen Pasta, Salads, Soups, and Sides

1 pound of dried split peas, sorted and rinsed
1/2 cup pearl barley
8 cups of water
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika (make sure it's smoked, yum!)
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/16th teaspoon (large pinch), cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced

This recipe is very simple to make.

Add to a dutch oven or large pot; split peas, barley, water, bay leaves, salt, soy sauce, sage, thyme, cumin and garlic.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for one hour. This is where you can go enjoy that magazine you've been meaning to read.

Stir in the carrots, onion and celery. Cover again and continue to simmer until the veggies are tender, another 20-30 minutes. 

Add more water if needed to thin out. Discard bay leaves then remove 4 cups of the soup and set aside. With an immersion blender, or in a blender, blend the remaining soup until smooth.  Add the removed soup back in, stir and serve!

Most of these pictures were taken by my Honey. Thanks for tweaking all of these for me.  

I'll be meeting other Meatless Monday bloggers over at The Recipe Renovator. Check it out for more meatless recipes!

Official Meatless Monday Blogger 


Dave said...

My pleasure. Thanks for cooking wonderful meals.

Linda said...

Mindy, I saw your post on this soup early this morning, and it sounded and looked really good, so I had to try it...immediately...and I did. It is WONDERFUL!! I love it. It has the perfect combination; it's simple to make, uses on-hand ingredients, and best of all, it tastes great! You're the best! And kudos to Dave for the pictures! They are beautiful and elegant.
Linda (Babs)

Jenny said...

That looks yummy! And I'm pretty sure I have I'll have to try this! I was just thinking I wanted some soup....

Last night I made up my own stuffed squash...however, i ended up just eating the stuffing because i made way to much to fit in a little squash!

Lets see it was:
roasted acorn squash, quinoa, sweet potato, carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans, sage, basil and cinnamon. Delish!

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