Monday, September 22, 2014

Herb and Barley Vegetable Soup - Ladle it Up IHCC

Our time with Nigel Slater, the featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs for the last 6 months, is winding down. Our last official theme before our final farewell is all about soups and stews. Nigel's recipe for A Herb and Barley Broth to Bring You Back to Health was in a category somewhere between the two. Brimming with leeks, onions, garlic, celery, carrots and potatoes, it certainly wasn't a broth.
The cut vegetables, cooked in a little oil until softened, were combined with bay leaves, thyme, sage and partially cooked barley. About one litre of vegetable stock was added to cover and was topped with thinly sliced potatoes. The covered pot was then popped into the oven to cook, a method I've used to braise meat but never to cook soup. Since I had cut my vegetables smaller than instructed - I wanted them more bite-sized - I checked on the soup only 1 hour into its 2-hour cook time. The potatoes, carrots and celery were tender and holding their shape, the onions, leeks and garlic had melted into the stock and the barley.....well, the barley was beyond salvation ;)!  I called it done!
This was a very homey kind of soup with gentle flavours, a bowl of comfort that just needed a slice or so of good bread (multigrain Baguette from Good to The Grain) to be a complete meal.

The recipe is from the Kitchen Diaries and can also be found here. Visit IHCC to see what other members are ladling up this week!


  1. HI Zosia.
    Such a lovely and homey looking dish of soup. The different ingredients and textures looks wonderful and very flavourful. Having it with crusty breads sounds perfect indeed.
    It has been a delicious 6 months cooking with Nigel Slater, and I'm looking forward to cook with our next featured chef!

  2. I think barley is underused in Germany, this looks very delicious. Just the right soup to warm up after a walk

  3. This soup looks so mild and comforting. My children would love it! Enjoyed reading about cooking it in the oven.

  4. Zosia, I've never tried adding barley to a savoury soup before. Your soup looks really delicious. I like how you cut your vegetables into bite-sized pieces. I'm curious to try this soup out and bookmarking this soup :)

  5. Soup time is coming and now that I have discovered barley this is on my short list to make. YUM!

  6. I only have to hear the word barley mentioned and I immediately feel comforted. This definitely looks more substantial than a "broth", but it looks delicious nonetheless, and I really like the "no-fuss" approach of putting it in the oven.

  7. This does look like the perfect soup to restore health and to put you in a happy mood as well. I like the cooks-in-the-oven part--so interesting and I am a big fan of barley soups. Great pick! ;-)


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