Friday, 26 February 2010

Root Soup

There is nothing quite like a hearty soup and crusty bread in mid-winter. And this soup must be at least 2 of your 5-a-day, and, if you eat enough of it, possibly all 5. What's more, it's frugal, and all the more so if you use the recipe to use up slightly tired vegetables from the back of your fridge. (Note: I am not suggesting you eat anything mouldy, or that smells questionable. Just veggie remains that would otherwise be thrown away, as less than appetising as features on their own.)


Kitchen knife
Chopping board
Garlic crusher
1/2 gallon cooking pot with lid
Cooker, 1 fast ring
Hand blender

Ingredients (4 generous servings, and a bit left over for stock):

50g butter
3 rashers of bacon, chopped small
2 onions, chopped fine
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
2 sticks of celery, chopped fine

2 carrots, diced
2 small turnips, diced
1/2 swede, diced
2 parsnips, diced
1 potato, diced
(or, any other combination of diced root vegetables, to the weight of 1kg)

1 cup pearl barley
2 litres of boiling water
1 tsp each of dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste.


Melt the butter in your pot. Add the bacon, onions, celery and garlic. Fry gently until the onions are soft. Add the diced root vegetables, pearl barley, water and herbs. Simmer, covered on a low heat, for an hour or so, or until the pearl barley is soft, adding extra water as necessary. Towards the end, blitz with a hand blender briefly, but leaving some chunks for texture.

Serve with granary bread for dunking.

Best, 2ndRateMind


  1. great recipe, 2RM!

    and have I shared with you the old definition of a vegetables, from student shared-hoiuse days?

    Q. What is the definition of a vegetable?

    A. Something that goes rotten in the bottom of a fridge.


  2. Wow, thanks Hope. You're my first comment, and it's real good to find out I'm not talking to no-one.

    As for the definition of a vegetable - alas! it is all too true. If we are to take the lives of vegetables, I think they deserve better from us. And if we are not prepared to grant them state funerals, let us at least celebrate their flavour by eating them before they go off.

    Best, 2RM.