Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then gently fry the onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add the peas, barley, salt and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme and pepper. Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.
slowcooker variation: Put all ingredients into slow cooker (no need to cook onions first, and oil can be omitted). Add an additional 400ml of water/stock and cook on high 2 1/2 hours (can be kept warm on low setting after that, with occasional stirring). More flavour: Use vegetable stock instead of water. Double all spices except for salt. - 08 Oct 2008
I just made this tonight and the family loved it! I took the other tweaks advice and added more stock and 1 teaspoon of each of the herbs. Really hearty and filling for a cold winter's night! - 03 Jun 2010
Altered ingredient amounts.
When she says it makes a thick soup, she isn't kidding! I love thick soup but this was ridiculously thick, too thick to be soup. All of the water was used up and the solid then started to burn the bottom of the pan. I added more water, which turned out to be PERFECT, so I'd definitely recommend adding an additional half litre of water for anyone making this soup! The taste was delicious, and I blended half the soup for a better consistency, but either way it tastes fine, just depends on your preference. I only used one potato cause that's all I had around the house but it was still good. Definitely one of the best soup recipes I've tasted! Thanks!! - 08 Oct 2008