Ages ago, I had lunch at a restaurant that is no longer in business. I ordered the split pea soup as an appetizer, and it came with celery and carrots. “That’s interesting” I thought. I went home and tried to improve upon it, and ended up with peasant food at its very finest.
Split Pea Soup
- 1 large pot or Dutch oven
- 1 cutting board
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 strainer
- 1 pound split peas (green or yellow)
- 2 slices bacon (chopped)
- 1 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 1 potato potato (peeled and grated)
- ¼ cup pearled barley
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 8-10 cups water
- 1 stalk celery (chopped)
- 1 carrot (chopped)
- Add the bacon to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and cook over medium-low heat until it has rendered a fair amount of fat.
- In the meantime, pick over your split peas and rinse them in a strainer.
- Add the onion and sauté until softened but not browned, approximately five to ten minutes.
- Add the potato and one to two cups of water. Bring to a boil.
- Boil, covered, until the potato is soft and beginning to break down, approximately ten minutes.
- Add the thyme and bay leaves, and stir to combine.
- Add two cups of water, then the rinsed peas and barley.
- Add an additional six cups of water. Stir, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
- Simmer over low heat until the barley is tender and the peas are almost completely cooked. Be sure to stir every ten minutes to prevent sticking, approximately 40 to 60 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery. If necessary, add an additional 1 or 2 cups of water.
- Continue simmering, remembering to stir every ten minutes, until the peas are completely cooked and the celery and carrots are tender. Adjust the seasoning, remove the bay leaves, and serve.