Tomato, Barley and vegetable soup

This recipe sent me back thinking to my childhood, not because it was something we always ate, but because it reflected on something that happens all over our country at this time of year, in Churches, schools, Farm shops and that is of course…The Harvest festival. 
   
  Farmers and vegetable growers of all levels gather their crops in Autumn as a celebration to show the general public where their food comes from and also it’s a chance to raise money for Charity. 
  Last Saturday was also the start of British food Fortnight, (19th Sep-4th Oct 2015) so the two fit perfectly together.

  This soup is packed full of most vegetables that are being harvested now and they certainly were from my little Kitchen garden that Im so very proud of. 


   Soup always makes me feel good inside and warm,when Ive had it. Maybe after a long day or when a cold is drawing near. With this recipe, Im sure it will give you quite an amount of your Five-a day.

  This is a one pot dish that is so economical but with the added pearl barley and lots of vegetables it will keep you feeling full –  Fit for the Harvest festival! 








Tomato Barley and vegetable soup:
Ingredients:
( Serves 4 approximately)
  •   1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil 
  •   a couple of handfuls of pearl barley
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1  Large carrot finely diced
  • 1  large celery stick finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato puree
  •   Pinch of sugar
  • 1 leek  finely sliced 
  • 1 gel pot of vegetable stock or Chicken stock
  • handful of fresh herbs : Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary finely chopped
  • 1-2 runner beans sliced
  • 1 courgette chopped finely
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • Handful of finely chopped fresh basil to finish
Method
  • Cook Pearl barley to packet instructions but add in some stock to your water, whichever you are using.
  •   Sweat off your carrot and celery with your rapeseed oil in a pan for a minute or two, then add in your onions. Cook until starting to soften.
  •   Then add in your sliced leek, stir and sweat down for about 2 minutes. Add in your Garlic and stir again.
  •   Pop in your chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar and turn down the heat slightly. Stir in your stock and add about 1/2 litre of water. (I prefer to add as I go) 
  •   Leave this now to simmer away for about 15-20 minutes allowing your veg to soften. Keep checking and if it needs more water, add a little more.
  • After this point, add in your courgettes and runner beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Then add in your cooked pearl barley and herbs, stir, add more water if it needs it and cook until your beans and courgettes are softened.
  • Taste and see if it requires seasoning or sometimes a little sugar if tart.

–   Serve into bowls, sprinkle on the basil and dive in with some crusty bread.




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