RUSSIAN PEA AND BARLEY SOUP

From “Soup: The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews” by Derek Bissonnette. Bissonnette serves the soup with country-style bread.

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight

1/4 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight

6 cups Ham Stock

4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cubed

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

11/2 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon oregano, leaves removed and chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Add the split peas, barley, and stock to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture simmers.

In a sauté pan, add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the butter to the sauté pan. When it is melted, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the parsnips and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onion is slightly golden brown.

Add the bacon and the parsnip mixture to the saucepan with the stock mixture and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas and barley are tender.

Stir in the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

HAM STOCK

Yield: 6 cups

18 ounces ham

9 cups water

3 garlic cloves, minced

11/2 cups onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat so that the stock simmers and cook for 1 hour. Strain stock through a fine sieve and chill in refrigerator.

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