4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

legumes

Split-Pea Barley Soup: One of my all time favorites!

This quick, easy, and fabulous-tasting soup is a welcome shift in cooking and eating that acknowledges the change of season, from summer to fall.

Time required: 1 hour total, but ONLY 15 minutes of your physical presence in the kitchen is required!

Ingredients:

1 cup dried split peas, rinsed
1 cup barley, rinsed
1 medium purple onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
cumin
pepper and salt to taste
olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place peas in a large pot with enough water so that the water line is 2 inches above the peas; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 – 60 minutes. Keep an eye on the peas after 45 minutes, so they do not become overcooked and mushy!
  2. Place barley in a different pot with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. While the peas and barley are cooking, enjoy a glass of wine. Then sauté the onions in olive oil, on low until they are tender. Add in the garlic, carrots and celery, a tad of pepper and salt, and sauté for just a couple of minutes until the veggies start to soften but do not become overcooked.
  4. Add to the cooked peas: the cooked barley, and cooked veggies. Gently mix it all up. Sprinkle cumin—at least 1 teaspoon—but probably more to give it a divine flavor.  Add pepper and a smidge of salt to your preferred taste.

There are two types of cooks: those that measure ingredients and those that do not. Those that follow recipes and those that do not. I do not. I love being in the kitchen creating a masterpiece, and have been cooking from scratch for nearly 30 years! Eyeballing how much to add, tasting frequently to be sure that I am getting it right is part of the fun for me. If “winging it” does not feel right to you, by all means use recipes and measure away. I have to say that my husband, when eating a delicious meal that I have lovingly prepared, will often sigh and say, “well, I won’t be enjoying that meal again…”  What he means is that my meals do not taste the same way twice! Since I don’t use recipes or measure, I run the risk of not being able to recreate that fabulous meal the next time around. Life is an adventure!

1st Note: If you like soupy soup, you’ll want to have a water line remaining above the peas when they are done cooking—keep an eye on the peas while they are simmering to see if more water should added.  If you like porridge style soup, then you can let all the water slowly absorb and evaporate in the cooking.

2nd Note: This is a chunky soup, which is how my husband and I like it! If chunky is not your preference, you are welcome to put the yummy concoction into a food processor to gently blend it to your desired consistency.

3rd Note: I taste while I cook. It is important to test the consistency of the grains, legumes, beans, pastas, and veggies, as well as the flavors once you begin to add spices.

Final Note: When cooking grains such as barley, millet, rice, etc. the ratio is 1 part grain to 2 parts water. The cook time is typically 30 minutes, but not always…quinoa for instance is cooked in 12 – 15 minutes, as are oats, but polenta (coarse corn meal) takes at least 45 minutes. This is where playing around in the kitchen is recommended so that you will gain confidence, as well as practical understanding of time required to create a fabulous meal.

The Really Final Note: When combining bean or legumes and grains, as in this soup, you are ingesting an incredible amount of fiber and protein. Way to go! Think of all the possibilities in other yummy soups and casseroles in which you bring beans and grains together. I will include additional recipes of my favorites in upcoming newsletters.

Happy Eating!

“When I began to work with Robin as a client, she immediately recognized that my success involved more than treating issues relating to my heart. Her knowledge and caring has given me the opportunity and confidence to improve my overall health and mental outlook for the future. I have received excellent care from many doctors but what may be more important is that Robin has made me want to do more for myself.
—Pat G., Client

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