Like other legumes, dried peas are high in protein and fiber. One cup of dried peas has 65.01% of your daily fiber needs. They are a good source of soluble fiber, which will help to lower cholesterol, and they are also gluten-free, low-fat, and tasty, too!
I yearly make the 16-hour trek from Arizona to Northern California to visit my brothers, who live above Lake Mendocino, in the town of Ukiah. My family and I drive on the long, straight and desolate highway 5 that runs through Central California. The saving grace is that we often stop at Pea Soup Anderson’s for a bowl of their famous split pea soup, though in my opinion it was better before they changed the recipe; but it still tastes good after a long car ride. Another restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen , makes a good vegan split pea soup with barley and carrots. After they puree or mash the peas, they add bits of cooked barley and diced carrots—yum! This vegan recipe today is an homage to their soup, and I think I have managed to capture the look and taste. Make it! It’s easy, and eating split pea soup is a fun, healthy habit to get into!
Cooking Time: 45 minutes Servings: 8 Yield: about 2 quarts
2 cups split peas
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup dried barley, one cup cooked (barley is not gluten free)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Tamari soy
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1. Using a large stock pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil until it is translucent.
2. In a large pot add 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Get a smaller pot, fill it with 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
3. When the water comes to a boil add the peas and the bay leaves to the large pot, and add the barley to the small pot. Cook each pot 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peas break part easily, and the barley is tender.
4. While the peas are cooking, dice the carrots into 1/3-inch cubes and then cook them in a small pot of salted water until they are tender. Drain the water and set the carrots aside.
5. When the peas are tender, remove the bay leaves and discard them, and put an immersion blender into the pot and blend the peas until smooth. Strain the barley, and add it to the soup along with the carrots and the Tamari. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Note – Don’t worry if you don’t have an immersion blender; just whisk the soup well. The peas will fall apart, but there will still be small bits of the onion and celery.
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