Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Pearl Barley and Carrot Soup

This was a bit of an experiment on my week off with a view to submitting it to the No Croutons Required challenge, which for this month was based on carrots. In the end I wasn't happy enough with how this turned out to send it in but with a few small tweaks I think this could be a nice satisfying warming autum or winter soup at a fairly frugal cost. I'll document how I made it and what changes I think it needs.

Warming Barley & Carrot Soup
1 cup pearl barley (dried)
0.5 cup yellow split peas (dried) [leave out next time]>Pour boiling water over to cover and leave to soak overnight / mine was 24 hrs.<
3 pints veg stock
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp black onion seed
1 tsp fennel seed [leave out next time]
1 tsp celery seed
0.5-1 tsp dried chilli flakes; to taste
0.5 onion finely chopped
2 tbsps EVOO
1-2 cloves finely chopped / crushed garlic
200g grated carrot [Up this next time to 300g]

Drain off and rinse barley & split pea mixture. Add 2 pints of veg stock and bring to the boil. Simmer covered until done. [The barley was done in 15 mins but the split peas took a lot longer. Next time I'd lose the peas altogether and put more carrot in. It'd be a shorter cooking time then as well.]
After 30-40 mins in a clean large heavy based frying pan dry fry off the seeds and chilli flakes for a few minutes to release the flavours. Add the oil to the pan, then the garlic and onions. Saute gently to soften. [Next time leave out the fennel seed; you couldn't detect it in the medley of flavours so no point in having it in.]
Meanwhile grate the carrot. Add the onion mix to the barley. Add the 3rd pint of stock and the grated carrot. Simmer for 15 mins.
Can leave as is for a rustic finish or blend for a far silkier texture. If blending do so in batches loosening with a little extra stock or water to your preferred consistency. [I added an additional 0.5pt water.]

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