Thick and Hearty Pea Soup

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.


Pea Soup


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.

4 thoughts on “Thick and Hearty Pea Soup

  1. excellent recipe – one of the best soups ever – made this in the sweltering heat of a Cape Town January morning for my daughter who loves soup all year round – an instant hit! i did add a little stock

    Will be better with some beef short ribs in the soup.
    One does not have to soak the Barley ovenite cause after soaking Barley and 1 -2 hrs cooking it will end up as a kasha
    Regards Izi

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