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December 15, 2010

Smoky Chipotle Split Pea and Barley Soup

Thank you all so much for your kind words regarding our engagement, Steve and I are very excited! I have been swept up in the excitement of wedding planning and the holidays, and have been neglecting the blog. That's not to say that I haven't been cooking! Most of my meals lately have been previously blogged recipes, such as Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, Butternut Rancheros, and White Chili with Tomatillos and Roasted Mushrooms, all worthy repeats I might add!

This weekend I made another old favorite, Split Pea and Barley Soup, but I decided to give the recipe a makeover. And what a makeover it was! Armed with ground chipotle and liquid smoke, I transformed my classic split pea into something totally new. If you are looking for a hearty, warming soup with a kick, this one is for you. Both standard stove top and pressure cooker methods provided below.

Smoky Chipotle Split Pea and Barley Soup
Serves 6

1-1/2 cups green split peas, rinsed and picked over
1/3 cup pearled barley
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
10 cups water
4 not chick'n bouillon (or sub your preferred bouillon)
2 tsp thyme
3/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper (or try canned, diced. Start with 1/2 a chipotle pepper and adjust)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
dash cayenne
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp lime juice

Amazing Homemade Vegan Bacon
vegan sour cream

Stove top method: Heat 1/4 cup water in a large pot and saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.  Stir in thyme, chipotle pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf, and saute for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Add 10 cups of water, bouillon cubes, and peas. Turn up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour of simmering the peas should be starting to break down a bit. Add in the barley, carrots, and celery and continue simmering (partially covered) for 45 minutes to an hour, until the peas have completely broken down. If the soup starts to thicken too much add extra water 1 cup at a time as needed, maintaining the thickness that you prefer.

Once the peas have completely broken down, and the barley, carrots, and celery are tender, remove from heat. Remove bay leaf and stir in liquid smoke and lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot, topped with a tablespoon of vegan sour cream and a slice of vegan bacon, fried and chopped.

Pressure cooker method: Put 6 cups of water, split peas, and barley into the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes and allow pressure to come down naturally.

While the pressure cooker is doing its thing, heat 1/4 cup water is a large pot. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Stir in thyme, chipotle pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf, and saute for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add 4 cups of water, bouillon cubes, carrots, and celery and turn up heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and partially cover. Simmer 30 minutes or until carrots and celery are tender. By this time the pressure cooker should be done releasing the pressure. Empty the contents of the pressure cooker into the other pot and stir to combine. Remove bay leaf, stir in liquid smoke, lime juice, and water if needed to reach the desired thickness. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot, topped with a tablespoon of vegan sour cream and a slice of vegan bacon, fried and chopped.

(A third option is to cook everything in the pressure cooker. The only downside is that the carrots and celery may be overcooked. To combat this slice them thicker. Start by sauteing the onion and garlic in the cooker for 5 minutes, then add all of the other ingredients less that liquid smoke and lime juice, and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure, and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Stir in the liquid smoke and lime juice at the end).

Other haps:

Check out my new ornaments!

A wee candy cane monster compliments of Panda With Cookie. This etsy shop offers monsters in all sizes, tofu pirates, adorable onesies, and more. This is not my first Panda original, you may remember the tofu pirate apron I nabbed earlier this year. Hooray for vegan crafters!

I am submitting the wee monster photo to the festive photo round of No Croutons Required. Entries accepted until Dec 20, voting opens the 21st at Tinned Tomatoes.

My other new ornament this year is one I bought in Tennessee the day that Steve proposed. I don't normally buy the clay personalized ornaments, but it seemed meant to be when I saw it!

My Christmas present to myself this year was a box of goodies from Pangea Vegan Store. I wanted to try several vegan products that I have not been able to find locally including vegan white chocolate chips, soy curls, parmazano, and dried soy creamer packets. I also decided to try out 2 gravy mixes, vegetable broth powder, and a few cheezly flavors (on sale $.99 each!). I was super impressed by how quickly my order arrived. I placed my order mid-morning, it shipped the same day and was on my doorstep 2 days later!

I am looking for suggestions of how to use these precious white chocolate chips and soy curls. What are you favorite uses?


  1. This soup sounds SO good. I am a huge fan of anything with chipotles! Love the gift to yourself. ;-)

  2. Mmmm, that soup sounds like a great combo of flavors! Perfect for winter!

    I love your personalized ornament :-) So sweet!

  3. mmm I love smoky split pea soup - would love it with vegan bacon - your personalised ornament is really sweet - I love special christmas decorations that come out once a year as you don't take them for granted like the ones that are around the house all year - and nice box of goodies

  4. That soup looks off the hook! I love smokey flavor! I'm new to the pressure cooker -- the instructions that came with the PC said to avoid split peas. Any idea why? I'd love to try this soup in it!

  5. JL -- Good question! My assumption for the recommendation to avoid split peas is that they may foam and clog the steam vent. If you rinse the peas thoroughly and be sure that your pot is no more than 1/2 full then this should not be a problem--this goes for all legumes. I'd be comfortable doing it personally, so long as the instructions don't explicitly say DON'T DO IT. Avoid? Ehhh! Let me know how you like the soup if you try it!

  6. Love the changes you made to the soup. Anything with chipotles sounds great to me. The ornaments are precious.


  7. That sounds similar to the split pea soup I made from The Conscious Cook recently. Your recipe sounds like it's more flavorful though. I'll have to try this soon, I have been craving soups like crazy lately since it's so cold out.

  8. Oh, congratulations!!! I am behind on reading blogs so I'm just seeing your big news now! That's so exciting!

    That soup looks so delicious & unique! I'll have to try it.

  9. Great changes to your soup! Went from classic to wow!

  10. Thanks for this great recipe - I'm making it today! Also, I love the goodies from Pangea - I really need to order stuff from them one of these days.

  11. Nice loot! I'm pretty boring, but I do love using the soy curls to make vegan "chicken" noodle soup, or "chicken" and dumplings, etc. Standard sort of comfort food that I wouldn't otherwise bother veganizing because of the meatiness factor.

  12. This was totally awesome and has to be the best vegie split pea I have tried to date. Thanks so much for stopping by new blog and commenting on my version!!!


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