Any decent winter vegetable soup recipe should produce a thick soup and this is why pearl barley is used in this recipe. Take a look at the comments at the end of this page for ideas on how you can personalise this soup to suit your own taste buds.
Some of the ingredients for Winter Vegetable Soup
1.5 litres / 2½ pints vegetable stock (homemade or use two stock cubes in warm water)
100g / 3½ oz Pearl barley (see 'Advice for Winter Vegetable Soup' below)
2 leeks, trimmed top and bottom
2 celery sticks, top and tailed
2 large carrots, peeled
1 medium parsnip, peeled
5 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Black pepper (freshly ground if possible) to taste
Bread (optional extra)
If you keep to the cooking times below you will end up with a soup where the vegetables still have a bit of their 'crunch' left, just the way we like it. Cooking for longer will soften the vegetables more.
No salt has been included in the recipe because the stock cubes / tinned stock should contain enough salt on their own. Taste the soup five minutes before serving and add any more salt at that point if you want.
Add the pearl barley and stock to a medium sized pan and simmer the mixture whilst continuing on with the steps below. Stir occasionally.STEP 2
Add wine to another (large) pan and then add the leeks. Simmer this mixture for about five minutes with the pan covered. Stir a couple of times to prevent the leeks sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add the remaining chopped vegetables to the large pan. Simmer for another 5 minutes stirring a couple of times.STEP 3
Pour the stock / pearl barley from the medium pan into the large pan.
Add the tomato puree and bay leaves and stir the soup well.
Bring it to the boil then simmer for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.STEP 4
Just before serving the soup, toast some bread. Season the soup with the ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Taste to see if you want to add additional salt.
Serve the soup into four large bowls with the toasted bread. Sit back and enjoy!