In a large stock pot, heat 1 tsp olive oil and begin to sauté the onion on low heat. After 5 minutes add the celery and carrot, and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the vegetable stock, split peas, barley, potatoes, and the bay leaves, and the pinch of cayenne. Cook on low heat for 1 hour. After the hour, add the frozen peas and dried basil, and continue to cook on low for another hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.
When you’re ready to dish up, drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top of each bowl and lots of fresh black pepper, and enjoy!
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