I guess I was in the mood for yet another 'green' soup. My green colored vegetable of choice this time was split peas. This soup was inspired by the split pea soup at California Pizza Kitchen. I have fond memories of CPK back when I was living in Monterey CA. Who has time to cook when you're working on a Master's thesis? The barley in this makes it extra hardy and easy to get full with. I served it with some homemade sourdough sesame crackers. The added excitement of the night while making this was an explosive mishap with the blender.... green goo everywhere!
Sourdough Sesame Crackers
- 3 C whole wheat flour
- 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbl sesame oil
- 2 Tbl raw honey
- 1/2 C sourdough starter
- 1 C filtered water
- additional olive oil as needed
- sea salt
- sesame seeds
To make the dough, add the sourdough starter, sesame oil, honey, and water. Mix and knead well with your hands for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat the ball and inside of the bowl.
Cover the bowl with wrap and let sit out on your counter for 8 - 12 hrs. The dough ball will ferment (sour) during this time, breaking down the phytic acid, making for a healthier cracker. Don't worry (if you even are), you won't really notice any sour flavor with these crackers.
After the fermenting time, break a piece of the dough off and form into a smaller ball about 2 in. in diameter. Smash the small dough ball onto a flat cookie sheet. You should coat the cookie sheets with a generous amount of olive oil. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 1/8 in thickness. You will need cookie sheets without a rim in order to do this. If you don't have this you can roll the dough out on another flat surface and then carefully peel it off and lay it onto whatever sheets you have.
You should be able to fit about two of these on one cookie sheet. Brush enough olive oil onto the dough to cover it and then sprinkle sea salt and sesame seeds on top. Use the rolling pin to gently press the salt crystals and sesame seeds into the dough. Then use a rolling pizza cutter to cut the dough into about 2 in. squares.
With the oven preheated to 350 degrees, bake the crackers for about 20 - 25 minutes. The crackers on the edge of the cookie sheet should be turning brown. If you take these out to soon they will not be crispy. With a spatula, carefully lift the crackers off of the cookie sheet and place into a bowl to cool and then serve.
This will make about 6 sheets of crackers. I only decided to use half of this to make crackers. I will use the rest of the dough to make tortillas at a later time.
Split Pea & Barley Soup
- 2 C split peas bought in bulk
- 1/2 C barley
- 1 Tbl raw apple vinegar
- 12 C filtered water
- 4 C chicken stock
- 2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 white onion minced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbl soy sauce (look for the non GMO kind)
- 1 Tbl organic sucanat (much healthier then refined white sugar)
- 1 Tbl dried parsley
- 1/2 Tbl white pepper
- 1/2 Tbl thyme
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- green onion for garnish (I did not have any of this this time)
Rinse your split peas well. Saute the onion and garlic in a large stock pot in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the other 6 cups of water along with everything else excluding the carrots, celery, and green onion. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours (until the peas are done; they should be soft).
Note: Cook the barley and peas at the same time. This is also a good time to be rolling out and baking your crackers.
Once the peas are done, and everything is beginning to look more like a soup, remove half of the soup mixture and pour into a blender. Be careful here, because when I blended my soup mixture the force was so great even with my hand on the lid, that a bunch of it exploded out over the top. It was pretty hot and it made an awful mess all over my stove, counter, and walls. My tip to avoid this would be to first use a hand blender directly in the stock pot if you have one. If not, then hopefully you have a good blender with a good lid that seals securely, or a speed control (start off slow). My blender does not have either.
Once blended add the soup mixture back to the main pot. Pour off the excess water from the barley and add the barley to the soup. Add the carrots and celery and simmer the soup for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are cooked. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion.