Split Pea and Barley Soup – Warms the Kitchen, Warms the Soul

Allow me to set the scene before I set the table.

A drafty Philadelphia house on a cold December evening in 1930 is bursting at the seams with love and little mouths to feed. The pantry is lacking, and there are no fancy clothes and no fancy clutter. Not a complaint can be heard as Granny and her four hungry siblings wait for their dinner. Granny’s mother, trying to make ends meet, stirs a big pot simmering on the stove top. I dream myself back to that cold December dinnertime. My imagination warms my soul and a pot of my Grandma’s split pea and barley soup warms my kitchen.

But as I chop and stir and daydream, I notice the recipe source is Woman’s Day magazine, March of 1992. So maybe this recipe got someone’s family through the Great Depression, but it wasn’t Granny’s.
All of the things that make this recipe seem like a Depression-era recipe are the same things that make it a great recipe for today. It feeds a lot, and costs a little. It is warm, filling, and healthy. You can count on leftovers.
I know peas are not a guaranteed kid or crowd pleaser, so I can’t promise complaints will be as absent as they were from my little imaginary depression children. I know my toddler would rather have something less green and more easily ketchup-coated. But if you can get your kids to eat this soup, you will be loading them up with fiber, protein, and lots of vitamins.
Here is what you will need:
Split Pea and Barley Soup.jpg

Final Thoughts:
This soup really is hearty and delicious. It left me wanting more…more of my Grandma’s cooking, whether the recipes were passed down from her mother, or she clipped them from a magazine. It also made me want a subscription to Woman’s Day Magazine for Christmas.
 Set Table

Split Pea and Barley Soup

Split Pea Recipe Card

Prep time: 20 min. Total Time: 1 hour and 20 min. Serves: 4

  • 5 c chicken broth
  • 3.5 c water
  • 1.5 c dried split peas rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c barley
  • 1 large carrot diced (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1 large stalk celery diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/4 t dried thyme
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • Put all ingredients in a 3-4 quart pot.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for one hour until peas begin to fall apart when stirred and barley and vegetables are tender