Split Pea Soup with Garlic, Basil and Barley Serves 6-8 8 cups chicken stock (see note) 2/3 cups split peas 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves 2/3 cup tightly packed fresh basil 1/2 cup pearl barley Salt and pepper Optional: Fresh chiffonade basil leaves to garnish the soup 1. Heat your chicken stock to a boil, add the split peas, minced garlic and dried basil. Turn the soup to a low simmer, cover and let cook for one hour. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the split peas, or alternatively, use a blender or food processor. Just remember never to completely cover the top -- leave an opening and put a towel over it while you process or blend. An immersion blender is best. 2. Chiffonade the fresh basil. 3. Once you have pureed the soup add the ½ cup pearl barley and the fresh basil. Cover and keep it at a simmer. While the barley is cooking, taste for salt and pepper. 4. Let simmer for 45 minutes while the barley cooks. Taste again for salt and pepper. * Note: Basio says he uses homemade chicken stock but you can use canned. You might want to start off with low sodium stock and add salt as you taste the soup, he says.
Sarah Pastrana, Baltimore Sun Media Group