1 cup dry split green peas
1/2 cup medium pearl barley*
3/4 cup chopped ham
3/4 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
4 cups water (or more as necessary during cooking)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper to taste
Layer ingredients in the order listed, (except salt and pepper), in a 2-quart or larger slow cooker. Do not stir.
Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 6 to 8 hours, until peas reach desired texture.*
Remove bay leaf, stir well and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.
Barley is usually found on the rice or dried bean aisle, but sometimes it’s near the oatmeal. Do not use “quick” 10-minute barley in this soup as it will turn mushy.
Cooking 4 hours on high or 8 on low produces very tender peas but not a mushy texture. If the soup starts getting too thick, add more water as necessary.
Can easily be doubled if serving larger crowds.