I mentioned that I made bread bowls the other day, but I didn't share what was IN them! With our unseasonably cool weather, I opted to try a Pea and Barley Soup recipe based off of one out of my favourite cookbook (Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking), but altered to suit our taste and our product availability.
Pea and Barley Soup
- 1 1/4c yellow split peas
- 1/4c pearl barley
- 7 1/2c vegetable stock or ham stock
- 6oz. bacon, cubed (or just cut the strips width-wise)
- 2T butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1c. chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Bread to serve
- Rinse the peas and barley in a sieve under cold running water. Put in a large pan (the one you are going to cook it in -- I used my 6qt. sauce pot from Cuisinart) and cover with plenty of water. Place lid on pan and set on the stove (stove off) to soak overnight.
- The next day, drain and rinse the peas and barley. Put them back in the large pan, pour in stock, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes.
- Dry-fry the bacon cubes in a frying pan for 5 minutes or until well browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind, and set bacon aside.
- Add the butter to the frying pan with the bacon grease, then the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is just starting to colour.
- Add the softened vegetables and bacon to the pan of stock, peas, and barley. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until soup is thick. Add extra black pepper to taste and serve with bread.
The original recipe called for celeriac instead of celery. Since I didn't have celeriac available, I opted for celery for taste, though I'm sure it would have thickened up more with cooked celeriac (in cubes). Either way, it tasted great, and it didn't matter that it was a bit more soupy than thick because the bread bowls I served them in absorbed the little bit of extra liquid and made them that much more delicious!
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