Remember the film Shallow Hal? The one where Jack Black plays a guy obsessed with physical beauty. When hypnotised into seeing inner beauty he uncharacteristically falls in love with an (improbably) obese Gwyneth Paltrow character. Well all I am saying is don’t write off this recipe at first sight. We nearly did not post it for failing on visual attractiveness, yet this simple winter vegetable soup is bursting with flavour and texture that will serve you well for supper and then pay double time by tasting even better the next day.
We appreciate this is the second soupy post on the trot from us, but this is so much more than that – rather more of a winter vegetable pot – good for you but actually tasty too. It is low fat, vegetarian and full of nutrient rich vegetables. Light broth, pieces of parsnip soft and sweet, slices of leek, and shredded kale. Soft grains of barley thicken the soup, adding bulk and slow release energy. Serve it up with some bread – perfect for soaking it all up.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 parsnip
- 1 leek
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 75g (2.6oz) pearl barley (soaked overnight in a bowl of cold water and drained)
- 100g (1 and half cup) of kale
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- 1 bay leaf
- Half teaspoon dried tarragon
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oil in a medium to large saucepan
- Chop the shallots finely and fry in the oil till translucent
- Crush the garlic into the pan and allow to soften
- Chop the parsnip and add this in, stirring to cook it for a couple of minutes
- Chop the leek and add to the pot, cook for another minute until starting to soften.
- Pour the pearl barley into the pan and combine.
- Add the herbs and stir to mix them through.
- Allow the barley to warm through a little and cook with the vegetables for a minute or two
- Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or according to packet instructions until the barley is softened.
- In the last 10 minutes of cooking chop the kale and tip this into the pot.
- Once cooked, remove bayleaf
- Serve warm, or allow to cool and reheat and serve warm the next day.
Linking this to Simple and in Season run by Renatka Behan and hosted by Katie Bryson
And one from our archives but a favourite – Butternut soup with parmesan crostini