Split Pea and Barley Soup

Categories: Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold

Split Pea and Barley Soup (serves six)

14 cups of water
1 pound green split peas
½ cup barley, rinsed in a strainer
1 TBL olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 TBLS unsalted butter
2 medium onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot combine water, split peas, barley, olive oil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat to lively simmer. Cook the soup, continuing to stir periodically for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Sauté until the onions are golden brown.
  • Stir the onions into the soup along with the carrots, celery, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Cook, now stirring frequently to prevent the soup from sticking as it thickens, for 30 more minutes. The soup is ready when the peas have almost totally dissolved and the barley and vegetables are tender. The soup will thicken as it cools in the serving bowls, so thin with more water if necessary.

Comments: This recipe uses great ingredients for the SP.  They are cooked well, making it easier for the Spleen to digest. It also offers warming spices to help warm the middle jiao and encourage Sp Qi. Barley is a particularly good grain for strengthening the SP and ST and also helps to leach out dampness. Carrots are also nice for the SP and help drain dampness