You can even change it up with green vegetables or hearty lamb, depending on your mood.
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
1,2L vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
5 baby turnips, peeled and quartered
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
1. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy based pot and gently sauté onions, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme until lightly golden and the vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add the stock, together with the barley, turnips and chopped parsnips, and simmer over medium heat for 20–30 minutes, or until the barley and vegetables are cooked through.
3. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the chopped parsley just before serving.
To make the green vegetable barley soup
1. Substitute the turnips and parsnips for any green vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, spinach, mange tout or courgette, and add to the soup in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
To make the hearty lamb and barley soup
1. Add 1 tsp smoked paprika when sautéing your vegetables, followed by 400g lamb knuckles and 50g tomato paste.
2. Brown well before adding in 1,4L beef stock in place of the vegetable or chicken stock.
3. Simmer for 1½ – 2 hours or until the lamb is tender.
4. Remove the meat from the bones and return to the pot with the barley and vegetables, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Recipe supplied by Checkers