Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Split Pea Soup with Barley & Mushrooms

Since it's been cold and rainy here for the past few days, I've been in the mood for a nice pot of hearty soup.

I love soup.

Consequently, we eat it here often.

Split Pea with Barley and Mushrooms is one of my favorites.

Serve it with some cornbread, and the family's happy.


1 bag of split peas
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 package mushrooms
2 chopped carrots
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large chopped onion
3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped

dried herbs--thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram to taste
2 bay leaves

Start with a bag of split peas.

Rinse and put into a large soup pot with plenty of water.

Bring to boil.

When the peas come to a boil, skim the foam.

The soup is really good with some ham pieces in it. If you don't have any leftover ham, you can buy a ham steak, chop it up, and add it to the soup.

Put the ham in when you boil the peas.

I'm making a double batch of soup, so I've got more here than you'll probably need.

Chop all the vegetables.

After you've skimmed the foam from the boiling peas, add the vegetables.

You can saute them in a little olive oil first, if you like, but generally, I don't.

Add two bay leaves.

When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer with the lid on, but cracked, for about an hour.

When the peas start to break down--they become really soft and crack apart--add the barley and potatoes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add about 1/2 cup barley.

Simmer for one hour more.

Add the mushrooms last.

Saute the sliced mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter.

Saute them until all the liquid has reduced and the mushrooms start to brown a little.

Doing it that way will intensify the flavor of the mushrooms, and since you're adding them at the end, the concentrated flavor won't boil out.

Add the mushrooms right before serving.

Adjust the seasoning.

It's good served with warm cornbread.

The recipe can be found on the Vegetarian Chili Page.

I like the soup with a generous dash of Cholula Chile Lime hot sauce.



Tuesdays I have piano lessons.

I've been taking lessons for several years now, something I've always wanted to do.

I didn't take lessons as a kid, so I was a little hesitant at first, but, 'What was I waiting for?', I asked myself. 'Until I turn 60? Would the time be right, then?'

So I bought a piano and started taking lessons.

This is Betty, my piano teacher.

She loves piano, especially piano theory.

She loves her yard, too.

She's got beautiful flowers growing in her yard and works outside everyday.

Not only does she teach me piano, but she also teaches me gardening and knitting.

She's an expert knitter.

She wears a different sweater she has knitted at every lesson.

Betty has been the perfect piano teacher for me.

She lets me pick the pieces of music I want to play, is very encouraging, and doesn't require me to play in recitals.

Not having to play in recitals was an important requirement in choosing a teacher, especially at my age. Attending the recitals, though, is fun. 

It's so much fun to hear young piano students play some of the pieces I have learned, and follow along, note by note.

What I learn most from Betty is about life.

Life's lessons.

Betty has lived a very interesting, long life. She shares a lot of it in-between piano lessons.

I like those lessons the best.

No printable recipe for this one yet.


  1. Yum. I love soups, too. Did you save some for me?

    I like hearing about Betty and her many talents.

  2. So I found a piece of music I want to learn on the piano...what do you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5PzdguAXF0

    The split pea soup looks so yummy by the way! Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  3. Wow. I really like reading your entries. Usually I don't read bloggers' longwinded stories attavhed to recipes but yours are touching and captivating. The way your present them, in a line by line format makes it poetic. Lovely.