Hearty and Healthy Split Pea, Ham and Barley Soup

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split pea and ham soup

This fabulous, fiber rich soup is my very favorite split pea soup!  It’s chock full of healthful ingredients such as green peas, pearl barley, carrots and onions.  To keep it skinny, I’m using lean chunks of ham but adding them after the soup is cooked. This popular soup is usually cooked with a fatty ham hock in it. Leave the ham out all together and this water based soup makes a wonderful vegetarian soup! Each very filling 1 cup serving has 328 calories, 2 grams of fat, 9 grams of fiber and 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1½ hour


Ingredients

2 quarts water (8 cups)

1 pound dried split peas (green)

½ cup pearl barley

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons garlic (from a jar)

½ teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

Pinch of ground cumin

½ cups carrots, diced

1 cup onions, chopped

2 cups lean ham or turkey ham, diced, see shopping tip

Fresh ground pepper


Instructions

1. In a large pot, combine the water, split peas, barley, bay leaves, salt, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, sage, and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.

2. Add the prepared carrots and onion. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the diced ham.

Serves 8 (1 cup serving each)


Food Fact
s
Split pea soup has been around for thousands of years.  There are records of this soup being made and sold by street vendors in Greek and Roman societies as early as 500 to 400 B.C.  Many cultures have relied on this soup in times when meat protein sources were hard to come by, primarily in the winter.

Barley is a versatile cereal grain with a rich nutty flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color.


Healthy Benefits

Split peas are full of fiber, a good amount of protein, two B-vitamins and several important minerals.

Barley contains a lot of fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese.


Vegetarian Tip

If you want to make this soup vegetarian just leave out the ham. The water based broth and barley still makes it a delicious and hearty vegetarian soup.


Shopping Tip

I used delicious, lean ham that I bought at Trader Joe’s.  It’s uncured and contains ‘no nitrates’!  Sometimes I use their lean pastrami instead of the ham. it also contains no nitrates.


Storage Tip

This soup will keep in the fridge for several days and freezers great.  It will thicken with time so add a little water before reheating.


Weight Watchers SmartPoints 
8
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 8
Weight Watchers
(old points) 6

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup serving
328 cal, 2g fat, 0g sat. fat, 1mg chol, 24g protein, 55g carbs, 9g fiber, 696mg sodium, 2g sugar