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This is a great dish to make for lunch or dinner. Save a couple servings for leftovers— it’s even better the next day, though you may have to thin it with water. If you’d like to prepare this soup gluten-free, omit the barley and use 2 cups of split peas. (Recipe from The 30 Day Heart Tune-Up book)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Simmering Time: 60 minutes   

Serves: 4 (makes 10 cups)


3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

4 cups water, plus additional water while cooking as needed

¾ pound (1½ cups) green split peas

½ cup barley, rinsed and drained

1 2⁄3 Tbsp virgin olive oil, divided

1 bay leaf

1 medium onion, diced

¼ tsp sea salt or to taste

4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

2 large or 4 small carrots, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

½ tsp fresh thyme sprigs or ¼ tsp dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/8 –¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)


Combine the broth, water, split peas, barley, 2 tsp olive oil, and the bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium. Add the onions with salt and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the onions. Heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the vegetable mixture into the soup. Continue to cook the soup for at least 30 minutes over low heat. The split peas should soften and thicken the soup.

Add water as needed and stir often to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

The soup is ready when the split peas are soft and the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf before serving.


Steven Masley, MD

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