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…)
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.
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.
2. Add carrots and celery. Stir to coat with oil and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Add split peas and powdered bullion/water to pot OR vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat, add bay leaf and barley.
5. Simmer covered for about 2 hours.
No, it’s not 1:20PM. 60 minutes + 60 minutes.
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??
6 oz whole grain bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes
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.
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!
- 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)
- 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
- SOUP INSTRUCTIONS:
- In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic & sautee for 1 minute more.
- Add chopped carrots and celery, sautéing for another 4 minutes.
- 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.
- 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!
- CROUTON INSTRUCTIONS:
- Preheat oven to 375.
- 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.
- 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.