Winter in Israel is so short. It doesn’t seem like it’s very long after the first days of rain and cold that we are pulling out our shorts and T-shirts. So as soon as it gets cold, I start making my mid-winter favorites so I don’t miss out on the few opportunities. One of these favorites is my late mother-in-law’s thick and hearty pea soup. This is definitely my favorite winter soup and I’d love to share it with you because no-one should have to miss out on this one.
This soup does require a little pre-planning as you have to soak the peas, beans and barley overnight, but it’s not a huge effort and it’s certainly worthwhile for the giant pot of belly warming soup that results. I make this soup parev, so it’s really flexible. But you can also add some chopped up cabanos sausage to give it that smokey meat flavor if you want.
2 cups dried peas
1 cup navy beans (the small white ones)
½ cup barley or pearl barley
2 onions diced
4 large stalks of celery chopped
4 carrots chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsely
4 very ripe peeled and chopped tomatoes
100 g (4 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
How to do it
1. Soak the peas, beans and barley overnight in a pot of water.
2. Drain the water and refill the pot so the water covers the peas, beans and barley by about 5 cm (2 inches) Bring to the boil and reduce heat. Simmer to 1-1½ hours, or until the peas and bean are completely cooked (soft)
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for another 1-2 hours.