I have been a fan of soups ever since i was a little kid. i would wait to go to restaurants with my parents and sis and order tomato soup.i used to love the crunchy bread pcs, my amma and appa would give their bread pcs to my sis and me... and we would just gobble them up. actually looking back i think the bread chunks were the main reason for the tomato soup order ;) then in my teens i was in love with veg. sweet corn soup and i think i am still hooked to it. I have not been able to make it here, as the corn is a tad too sweet here in the US.
Split pea soup was something i was introduced here. I think the first time i had one was in Zoup...a soup chain in mi. It was really delicious, but i thought it was a tad too heavy for me, but i knew something delicious can be made of this. So, i came upon this recipe i think from the website called copycat.com, that recipe is no longer available.
This recipe has now been modified by me quite a lot to add my preferences that the only thing this soup has from the original recipe is the split-pea,barley and carrots.
Now to the soup, i really love this, it is light but fills you up and is healthy too...so here it comes
Split pea- 1 cup
Barley - 1 cup
Onions- 1 medium
Carrots - 2 medium
Rosemary - few stalks
Garlic - 4 pods (love garlic)
Tomato paste - 1 tbls
Red chilly flakes - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 11/2 tsp (optional)
Olive oil - 2 tsp
salt -to taste
6 cups water or veg.stock (if using water, try using a salt-free veggie bullion)
1. Soak the split pea in water for about 4 hours, it cooks faster this way.
2. Cook barley and split pea seperately in lots of water. keep a lookout for the barley as it really plumps up quite a bit.Cook till both are done. The barley tastes chewy and the pea should be smooth to taste.
3. Dice the onions as finely as possible and chop the carrots finely too.
4. In a soup pot, add the oil, then smash the garlic and add the rosemary leaves. Add the onions, carrots and red-chilly flakes cook till they are soft.Add the salt and at this time,add the bullion,if using one. Keep the gas on med-low and there is really no need to add any water to cook the carrots as you have chopped them finely
5. Meanwhile, add the split pea in the blender and puree it to a smooth paste.
6. When the carrots are cooked, add the red-chilly powder,tomato paste and fry for a couple of min. Then add the split pea puree,barley and six cups of water/stock,salt as needed (remem you have added some salt to cook carrots) and cook on medium flame till it comes to a boil. Then let the soup simmer for 10 mts more to get really creamy and quite to the consistency you like.
7. Now ladle these on to big bowls and watch re-runs of what you love, for me it is All in the Family....( i tvo it)
notes: if you like the soup more fluid in consistency, add more water.
you need not pre-soak the peas, it will just take longer to cook.
when you puree the soup, if using stock, puree the split pea using the stock.
You can put cilantro instead of rosemary for an indian touch, but that has to be added at the end.