If you’re feeling under the weather in our house, this simple soup recipe that my mother taught me is what you’ll get. Variations of it are made everywhere in Ireland and occasionally it’s blitzed with a hand blender so that it’s smooth.
Try adding chopped diced chorizo instead of the bacon or you could stir in some diced cooked chicken with the parsley if you have it.
– 50g (2oz) pearl barley
– 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 1 carrot, diced
– 2 celery sticks, diced
– 1 small leek, diced
– 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
– 50g (2oz) rindless streaky bacon, diced (optional)
– 1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken or
– Vegetable stock (page 434 or 437)
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
– Sea salt and freshly ground
– Black pepper
– Brown wheaten bread (page 260), to serve (optional)
1. Place the pearl barley in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water.
2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a pan and stir in the onion, carrot, celery, leek and thyme. Add the bacon, if using, and sauté for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the bacon is sizzling.
3. Pour the stock into the vegetable mixture, add the rinsed barley and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables and barley are completely tender but still holding their shape. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.
4. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and hand around a separate basket of the wheaten bread, if liked.
Thank heaven for Neven! This definitive cookbook will be a lifesaver in every family’s kitchen. Our families are the most important people in our lives, so when it comes to mealtimes we want to give them the best we can. This new definitive collection from Neven Maguire gives you all the inspiration and help you’ll need to get more of the good stuff into your family’s diet and make homemade food the heart of your home.
The book also includes lots of tips on how to wean the family off processed food for meal and snack times, how to plan for large family gatherings, how to cut down on food waste and how to bake the perfect celebration cake.
Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook is published by Gill Books and available to buy in all good book stores and online at www.gillbooks.ie/cookery.