Juliet, a particularly cold day and (BAM!) a steaming bowl of split pea and pearl barley soup


Juliet in a blanketsm

It is cold here in Huntington Beach–morning frost-on-the-roof cold.

Even the intrepid Juliet, who has never met a walk she didn’t like, has found the wind and the cold daunting despite being clothed in her warmest turtle-neck sweater.

Yesterday morning, when the winds were particularly strong, Juliet and I set out for our normal morning walk.

As she and I struggled down our street with our heads down and our bodies braced against the cold winds, Juliet’s wonderful papillon ears were a sight to behold as they blew wildly in the wind. (Juliet is a cross between a papillon and a yorkie.).

In a moment of whimsy,  it crossed my mind  that those ears might catch a gust of wind and, as it did to Sally Field’s flying-nun character, Sister Bertrille, lift all of Juliet’s five pounds off the ground. Made me laugh.

Juliet, on the other hand, was not amused and shot me a disgusted, don’t-mess-with-me side-eyed look that told me she wanted to go home and that she wanted to do it now.

So, mid-walk, we turned around and headed home.

Once inside the front door, without even so much as a pause at her food dish, a determined Juliet marched to the bedroom, lithely jumped on our bed and proceeded to burrow under her favorite baby-soft blanket for a peaceful and warm nap. Gentle snoring quickly followed.

Meanwhile…back in my kitchen with a cup of steaming tea warming my hands, I had an Emeril moment–BAM!  There it was–a definite soup craving, one that could only be satisfied, as it turned out,  by a fortifying bowl of hot split pea soup.

Searching my cookbooks and magazines, I narrowed my choices down to two recipes– an old Linda McCartney split pea and lentil soup recipe that I’ve made many times (and enjoyed)  and a recipe for a version of California Pizza Kitchen’s Split Pea and Barley soup. In the end, the prospect of adding chewy barley to the split pea soup won my heart and this is my adaptation of the original recipe. (I will post the recipe for the Linda McCartney recipe at another time.)

Split peas, by the way, are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in protein and low in fat.  As a bonus, their high fiber content makes you feel full and satisfied. What’s not to like?

The link to the recipe from which this soup was adapted appears at the end of this post.


Split Pea Soup2sm



Recipe: Split Pea and Barley Soup
1 Pound dried split peas (sorted and rinsed)
1/2 C. pearl barley
2 Quarts water
2 Bay leaves
2 t. salt
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 T. dried)
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. rubbed dried sage
Large pinch of cumin
1 1/2 C. diced carrots
2/3 C. minced onion
1/3 C. finely diced celery


Wash and rinse split peas and barley.

Combine peas, barley, water, bay leaves, salt, soy sauce, thyme, garlic, sage and cumin in a pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 25 minutes. Stir the soup frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

Add carrots, onion and diced celery to the pot and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Vegetables should be tender when the soup is finished. I added about a cup of extra water during this phase. This soup gets very thick and heavy quickly and I enjoy my split pea soup with a bit more liquid.

Remove bay leaves from the finished soup and serve.


Link to the original recipe: http://www.jsonline.com/features/recipes/57648067.html

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