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Smashed Pea and Barley Soup

One of the most popular items on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen, besides the obvious plethora of pizzas, is their Smashed Pea and Barley Soup. Who would have guessed that a fancy pizza joint would offer a fat-free, vegan, delicious soup? For years it's what I ordered almost every time we dined there. While son Corbett munched on pizza, I enjoyed every bite of the best split pea soup ever, confident that I was using a mere 3 WW Personal Points. Wow! Healthy, delicious and low in WW Points? It's a win-win!

Sadly, our local CPK has left town, but I found the recipe in their cookbook. The restaurant's instructions call for stove-top cooking. I've included Instant Pot directions as well, which is how I made my soup. I've made it before on the stove-top and have found that both methods work flawlessly.

Note: When you re-heat your soup (and it's even better the next day) you'll find that it has thickened considerably. Just add water or chicken broth to thin it to your taste.

1 lb. dried split peas, sorted and rinsed

1/2 cup pearl barley

8 cups water

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. rubbed dried sage

1/8 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 cups diced carrots

2/3 cup diced onion

1/3 cup diced celery

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

In a large soup pot combine the split peas, barley, water, bay leaves, salt, soy sauce, thyme, garlic, sage and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for one hour or until split peas are cooked, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the carrots, onion and celery. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes more. Discard bay leaves. Adjust salt and soy sauce to taste. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Instant Pot Directions:

Combine all ingredients except scallions in Instant Pot. Seal and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes and then manually release pressure. Remove lid and remove bay leaves. Adjust salt and soy sauce to taste and garnish each serving with sliced scallions.

Serves 6 to 8

One serving = one cup

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