The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Meatless Monday: Split Pea & Barley Soup with Homemade Croutons

 

Yesterday  in L.A. it was cold out. And grey. What I mean is, we had to wear socks & jackets. But we didn’t – we wore flip flops.

Anyway, what better meal to come home to at the end of the day than a thick, warm soup with homemade croutons? Try this for your next Meatless Monday (since it’s now Tuesday…)

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I made a barley vegetable soup a few month ago and it was really good but this one is WAY better. I had bought a bag of dried split peas a few weeks earlier because I thought they’d be tasty but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them. Since I still had some barley in my cupboard, I looked for a recipe combining the two and VOILA! With some adjustments I had a hearty, thick and really tasty soup. It called for croutons and since I didn’t have any I made ‘em! This is the first time and I want to tell you – make croutons as often as you have soup. They are REALLY easy to make & add that extra something that soup sometimes needs.

Here we go! You’ll need these items:
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SOUP INGREDIENTS:
2 c dried yellow split peas, rinsed & drained
6 carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 c pearl barley, rinsed & drained
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
5 TBSP bouillon (I used vegetarian chicken flavored – you can also use vegetable broth or whatever you have on hand!)
10 c + 8 tsp water (adjust for desired thickness)

Let’s get started!

1. Saute chopped onions in the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add crushed garlic for another minute. Be sure to stir occasionally to coat with oil.

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2. Add carrots and celery. Stir to coat with oil and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

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3. Add split peas and powdered bullion/water to pot OR vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil.

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4. Reduce heat, add bay leaf and barley.

5. Simmer covered for about 2 hours.

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No, it’s not 1:20PM. 60 minutes + 60 minutes.

D’OH!!! That’s a long time.
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6. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add water/broth as needed. I like my soup sort of thick so I didn’t. Sprinkle some croutons on top & serve.

How to make the croutons??

You’ll need:
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CROUTON INGREDIENTS:
6 oz whole grain bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Olive oil
2 TBSP butter (or, you can just use 2 more TBSP olive oil which is just as tasty)
1 TBSP Dijon mustard

NOTE: I used one of my homemade breads that I froze a few weeks earlier. If it doesn’t get eaten within the first day or so, I freeze it for croutons. I hadn’t actually made any croutons, EVER, but I knew I would! That said, you can use any old bread you have – so next time you have a couple of heels from your Oroweat sandwich loaf – wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or a ZipLoc and freeze ‘em!)

This is so easy!

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut bread into 1/2″ cubes.

2. Heat olive oil in saucepan. Melt butter in oil over medium heat. (Incidentally, you can also just use oil if you prefer.)

3. Pour heated oil/butter and mustard over bread cubes & toss to coat.

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4. Spread bread cubes across a cookie sheet evenly.
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5. Bake for about 12 minutes. Taste one – it should be crunchy, not chewy. If it’s chewy return it to the oven for another 2 minutes.

Sprinkle atop soup. YUM!

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My helpers:
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5.0 from 1 reviews

Split Pea & Barley Soup with Homemade Croutons
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Hearty, thick soup topped with crunchy croutons. Perfect for a chilly afternoon!
Ingredients
  • SOUP INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 c dried yellow split peas, rinsed & drained
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¾ c pearl barley, rinsed & drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 5 TBSP bouillon (I used vegetarian chicken flavored – you can also use vegetable broth or whatever you have on hand!)
  • 10 c + 8 tsp water (adjust for desired thickness)
  • CROUTON INGREDIENTS:
  • About 6 oz whole wheat (or whatever you have on hand) stale or frozen bread, cut into ½” cubes
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP butter (OR skip the butter and just add 2 TBSP more olive oil)
  • salt
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard

Instructions
  1. SOUP INSTRUCTIONS:
  2. In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic & sautee for 1 minute more.
  3. Add chopped carrots and celery, sautéing for another 4 minutes.
  4. Add split peas and water/bullion OR broth (depending what you have on hand.) Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and add bay leaf and barley.
  5. Simmer for about 2 hours. Soup will be thick and cloudy (not clear.) Add water/broth to achieve your desired thickness. Or just leave it alone!
  6. CROUTON INSTRUCTIONS:
  7. Preheat oven to 375.
  8. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in small saucepan. Add butter (or just double the olive oil and omit the butter). When butter is melted, in a medium bowl, pour over bread cubes. Toss to coat.
  9. Spread bread cubes evenly on a cookie sheet, salt to taste & bake for 12 minutes. Cool and test one cube. It should be crunchy. If it’s chewy, bake for another 2 minutes.

Notes
This actually might serve more than 6. Good in refrigerator for 3-4 days. They will stay good in the freezer up to 3 months.

Soup adapted from Food.com
Croutons from Annie’s Eats.



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4 comments on Meatless Monday: Split Pea & Barley Soup with Homemade Croutons

  1. Lib
    February 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm (2091 days ago)

    I personally LOVE the helpers… and the pic of the chef calculating how long it would take to cook…. :)

  2. Michael
    February 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm (2091 days ago)

    Recipe looks great. And nothing is better than the classic Christina pose! Plus, those kids are just stunningly beautiful.

  3. Drew
    March 1, 2012 at 5:33 am (2090 days ago)

    We found the site! This all looks so great, something we must try. Fantastic seeing you all, like nothing has changed. Busy with appointments and listening to heartbeats, its real! zigging zagging, more later.
    DaleoCru

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