I am an absolute fan of soups, they are usually simple to make, really filling and make a fantastic winter lunch time meal. Especially if you add a gorgeous artisan loaf or French baguette.
Soup is also an easy way to pack vegetables into your day, and it normally freezes well, in this case it certainly does so it makes an ideal batch cook. Simply whip it out of the freezer 4-6 hours before you want it and hey presto, lunch is served!
This type of soup is also perfect for guests with allergies or dietary requirements as it is suitable for vegetarians, vegan, dairy free, nut free, soya free and gluten-free (depending on the grains you use).
So with all this in mind, here is a yummy recipe for Barley & Vegetable Soup. And thanks to a healthy dose of barley, it’s super filling. Before you have a look at the recipe though...
If barley doesn't float your boat (or bloats your tummy!), you can soon swap it for any other grain you fancy or little pasta such as orzo (rice pasta).
And if you don't like the vegetables I have used, no problem. This soup lends itself to just about any vegetable and that includes anything fresh, frozen, needs using up or comes from a tin. I'm using a classic base of onion, garlic and diced tomatoes and then add carrots, potato, frozen green beans, frozen sweetcorn, and frozen peas, but you could add anything else at all, including beans (kidney or cannellini would work well).
Barley & Vegetable Soup:
Takes approx 1 hour from start to finish.
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium carrots
- 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 130g pearl barley
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to season
- 1.4l vegetable stock
- 1 medium potato
- 130g frozen green beans
- 130g frozen sweet corn
- 65g frozen peas (
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 handful fresh parsley (optional)
Chop the onion and garlic and add to a large saucepan or stock pot along with the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Peel and chop the carrots into a small dice and then add the them to onions, along with the tinned tomatoes, barley, basil, oregano, vegetable stock and seasoning.
Give it all a stir and then pop the lid on, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the soup simmer, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Whilst that happens, peel and chop the potato into 2cm cubes. When the barley is almost tender, add the potatoes and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more, or just until the potatoes are soft.
Once the potatoes are soft, tip your frozen green beans, sweetcorn, and peas in, give them a stir through and then continue to simmer for a further 5 mins to allow the frozen vegetable to cook through.
Now pop in the lemon juice and stir again. Adjust your seasoning to taste. You are now ready to spoon the soup into bowls and sprinkle the chopped parsley on the top if using. Delicious!
Image for illustration purposes only.