Summer's Bounty Soup

Up here in the Catskills (a.k.a The Borscht Belt) there are wonderful little farm stands that dot the sides of the   country roads. You can pass the same stand every day and find totally different produce- from freshly picked cucumbers that are crisp and sweet to beautifully gnarled heirloom tomatoes. My husband cannot help himself when he drives by and at least three times a week he greets me at the end of the day with a big paper bag of fresh produce. I never know what will be in the bag (it's kind of like a vegetarian Chopped box for you Food Network junkies) but it is always straight from the ground and delicious. This week I got tons of gargantuan yellow squash and corn so sweet you could eat it raw (and we did!) Unfortunately, the weather this week has not been as delightful and I found myself yearning for soup to chase away the chill. This is what I came up with to use up the vegetables- it is both hearty from the split peas and barley but also has great summer flavor from the vegetables and there is just no dish better than one that uses such fresh produce. And to just take it over the top I whipped up a batch of my famous dumplings (knuckelach) and served it in the soup-Deeeeelish!

3 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, cubed
1 parsnip, cubed
2 large yellow squash, cubed
2 large zucchini, cubed
8 oz fresh baby spinach
2 ears of fresh yellow corn, kernels removed
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup barley
1/8 cup chopped parsley
1/8 cup chopped dill
2 bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and carrot in some olive oil until the onion is tender. Add the parsnip and zuchinni and about 7 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and add the corn, split peas, barley, herbs and bouillon. Season with salt and pepper. Let the soup cook over medium heat for about an hour until the barley and peas are are cooked through. Add the fresh spinach 5 minutes before the soup is finished.


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