I like soup in general, but split pea is among my favorites and always has been. Peas are my favorite veggie, maybe that's why. It's also a major comfort food for me, maybe because my mom made it just for me for holidays when I was vegan as a teenager. Usually I make mine the same way- split peas, broth of some variety (can be chicken or veggie), onion, garlic, carrots, potato, rosemary, and bay leaf. I don't use a specific amount of anything, just start tossing things into the crock pot and it always turns out perfectly.
This time though I wanted to try split pea and barley soup. We were in Washington visiting family last month and I tried this soup at the California Pizza Kitchen and loved it. Found a copycat recipe last night, fiddled with it a bit, and was able to toss all the ingredients together in 10 minutes this morning before leaving for work. Came home 5 hours later to the best lunch you could hope for! To my delight, it needed no further tweaking at all. Just split pea and barley perfection. The lemon seemed like a rather odd ingredient, but brightens the flavors just a bit and was very nice. Can't say for sure whether it tastes just like the restaurant version, but I loved it.
The original recipe is here, I streamlined the recipe so it could go in the crock pot and also adjusted it according to my tastes and what I had. Feel free to add diced carrots, the only reason I didn't do this was because I wanted it to be different from my regular recipe and I didn't want to mess with chopping things up this morning. Since I use frozen diced onion (can't stand cutting them up myself!) and jarred minced garlic, I didn't have to chop or peel anything!
Split Pea and Barley Soup
8 C veggie or chicken broth
3 C water1 lb dried split peas
1/2 t black pepper
1 1/2 t dried summer savory
1 T sugar
salt to taste (I used a full tablespoon)2 T lemon juice
Yield: about 10 servings