Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Root vegetable soup with barley

Ah December. What a busy, overindulgent month! This is a recipe to soothe troubled tummies, as it is pleasant, yet also bland and comforting, being filling without being rich. It does take quite some effort to prepare the veg though, as they are woody, hard things, so make sure you have a good knife. It actually has a texture more akin to stew, so feel free to add some dumplings if you wish.

Root vegetable Soup with Barley

Serves 4

Takes about an hour to actually cook, but preparing the veg can easily take an extra 15 minutes

2 medium carrots

1 medium parsnip

1 leek, trimmed to leave mostly the white

1 small onion

1 small swede

100g dried pearl barley or other grain mix if you choose

1.2L of good vegetable stock

2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced (or 2 decent tsps of minced)

2 tsp dried herbs of your choice of - savory, thyme or rosemary

A splash of seasoning sauce, such as mushroom ketchup (the bottle just seen on the left in the picture)

* Scrub or peel the carrots or parsnips, peel the swede, peel the onion. Chop all the vegeables into neat little chunks around 1.5cm-2cm, except for the leek and onion which need to be sliced thinly.

* Heat some oil in a large pan, then fry the leek, onion, garlic and herbs for 5 minutes or until softened, but not coloured.

* Chuck in the rest of the vegetables and cook until slightly softened, around 10 minutes.

* Add the stock and the barley, bring to the boil, then simmer for around 40 minutes.

* After the time has passed, check to see that everything is tender. Mash the soup roughly with a potato masher and serve. Add the seasoning sauce into the individual bowls to taste.

Serve with a good bit of white bread.

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