Split Pea & Barley Soup

I realize that as I grow older (hopefully wiser), I am gravitating more towards simple, uncomplicated things in life including what I cook and eat; something wholesome, hearty, fresh ingredients and quick of course, because after a long day – no one should have to run to the grocery store for some fancy ingredient, spend hours in the kitchen, or call it a Chinese takeout again right? Whooopsssss.If you feel this way too, then this post is just for you :)

There are days (multiple) where I struggle too; I debate between microwave dinners or take outs and want to call it a dinner so I have time to catch up on tv shows, exercise or avoid dish washing or just take a breather…
My stomach immediately does a happy dance (coz I am usually starving after work) but my heart aches a little bit, shoulders feel slightly heavy by just thinking about the unnecessary preservatives and chemicals in all these foods but that does not mean I never order take outs, I do. I even have my fav Chinese place..sigh! However, lately I have been trying to stay away from these complicated, mystery ingredients so prevalent in our food system which is why I am motivated to make something simple. One of a kind. Flexible. Hearty. Healthy. One pot dish!   
This is everything you want to make for yourself, feed your family, and share with your friends. Feel free to add, remove substitute vegetables as you wish but no compromises on split peas and barley though. Its like barley and split peas are the main actors while rest of the ingredients are supporting (but very important) cast members.

The soup turned out finger licking good! the golden color was radiating so much warmth just like my creamy butternut squash soup; and minimal spices were needed because each ingredient spoke for itself. The recipe makes a huge batch and for later use, freeze them in individual tupperware so you can reheat it for later use. Enjoy this bowl of deliciousness with a piece of bread or chicken patties if you are in mood for something simple yet fancy. I prefer the latter 😉
Split Peas & Barley Soup
Makes about 7 (1.5 cup) servings
1/2 cup pearl barley, dry
1 cup split peas, dry
1 chicken bouillon cube (may substitute for other low-sodium broths)
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
1 medium onions, chopped
2-3 garlic  cloves, minced
1 small knob of ginger, minced
1 heaping tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoon olive oil (may use any other neutral oil)
cilantro or any other fresh herbs, chopped for garnish (optional

– Rinse and cook barley according to the instruction on back for water:barley ratio and time. It took me about 30 minutes
– In a medium pot, heat olive oil, sautee onion, garlic and ginger for few minutes
– Add carrots and tomatoes, stirring everything together
-Once carrots, tomatoes softens a little bit, add the split peas, garam masala, salt, black pepper and water. I started with 3-4 cups but added more during the cooking process
-Allow it to cook in medium heat for 25-30 minutes.
-Add water if necessary
-Once the peas are soft/cooked remove it from heat, let it sit for few mins and blend it together until everything becomes a smooth paste. I added a little bit more water (1 cups) during this process
-Transfer it back to the pot, let it simmer for few minutes, add the barley and adjust taste as necessary
-Garnish it with desired herbs of your choice ( i used cilantro)

Nutrition Facts (based on 7 (1.5 cups) servings): About 190 calories, 30 grams carbohydrates (2 CHO), 8.5 grams protein, 4 grams fat
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  1. says

    This looks delicious! I’m a HUGE fan of soups and am always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    And I may be the only Indian alive that doesn’t really like garam masala. I don’t know what it is. I always halve the amount asked for when using it!!

    • says

      I have been living off soups lately and this one was turned out pretty good too. For me, garam masala is the default choice of spices when I dont know whatelse to use!

    • says

      I am sure it gets difficult Caroline Kudos to you for being able to blog so regularly and cook all those delicious food. soups becoming pretty regular in my kitchen and its so comforting :)

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