We got our fortnightly veggie box last night and this week we didn’t get a chance to change what was in it before it was delivered. This meant we got a few things that we wouldn’t normally get, with one of those being celery. I’m not one to eat a stick of celery and I don’t really use it in cooking but the one thing I think has to have celery is a good soup. A soup is not really a hearty soup without the holy trinity of soup – onion, carrot and celery.
While I was at the shops today I was thinking about what sort of soup I could make. Before Natalie became a vegetarian I would have made a pea and ham soup, but that was out of the question. I also love barley in my soups as it just has this lovely favour and texture that kicks it up a notch. So I thought why not combine pea and barley to make a delicious any time soup?
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Medium Carrots, diced
3 Celery stalks, diced
2 cups Green Split Peas, rinsed
2 cups Barley
3 litres Vegetable Stock
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, celery and carrot for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
- Add in the garlic and keep sautéing until the aroma of the garlic starts to come through.
- Add the green split peas and barley and stir through until combined.
- Add the vegetable stock, paprika and bay leaves and bring to the boil.
- Once it is boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for around 1 hour, stirring it every 15-20 minutes. The barley should be a little chewy but not hard, and the peas will cook down into the soup.
- Remove the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, and add extra paprika to taste if desired.
This made 8 good sized serves and is delicious. I didn’t have the garlic but I include it in the recipe since a) I would have used it if I had it and b) you can never go wrong with garlic. If during cooking it starts to look a little dry, you can add some water or stock but don’t add too much. I used an extra 500ml and it has turned out fine but I would probably use less (or none) and have a thicker, heartier soup next time.
Experiment a little. You could throw some diced ham or bacon in and let it cook through, or fry it off and add it to the finished soup. You could use chicken stock instead of veggie stock, or some different herbs and spices. You can’t really go wrong with a simple soup like this!