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Roasted root vegetable and barley broth


Serves: 8
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:
Roasted root vegetable and barley broth
Recipe photograph by Maja Smend

Roasted root vegetable and barley broth

Colder weather brings a bounty of seasonal root vegetables, and there is no better time of the year to make a warming vat of soup. This low-waste recipe manages to be both fancy and homely. Carrots and parsnips are a must, but you can swap the swede for celeriac, turnips or kohlrabi

Serves: 8
timePrep time: 50 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
460Kcal
Fat
25gr
Saturates
4gr
Carbs
46gr
Sugars
15gr
Fibre
10gr
Protein
8gr
Salt
0.8gr

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes
Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 3 onions, unpeeled
  • 2 medium potatoes (about 500g)
  • 1 large garlic bulb, left whole and unpeeled
  • 400g bunched carrots with leafy tops
  • 3 fat parsnips (about 650g)
  • ½ medium swede (about 350-400g)
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 125g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • whole nutmeg, to grate
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • double cream, optional, to serve (omit for dairy free)
For the carrot-top pesto
  • 85g pumpkin seeds
  • washed carrot tops from the bunch,
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tbsp rapeseed (or extra-virgin olive) oil

Step by step

Get ahead
Freeze the soup for up to 3 months, or keep chilled and eat over 3-4 days. The pesto will sit happily in the fridge for a week.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Roughly line a very large roasting tin with baking paper. Add the onions, potatoes and garlic and bake for 40 minutes. While the whole veg are cooking, prepare the rest. Peel the carrots (reserving the leafy tops), parsnips and swede, then cut the swede into small chunks, the carrots slightly bigger and the parsnips about double the size of the swede chunks.
  2. Put the stock cubes in a pan with 2 litres of water and the barley. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, then cook for 25-30 minutes until the barley is tender. Strain into a colander over another large pan to catch the stock and set the barley aside.
  3. When the whole veg have cooked for 40 minutes, remove the garlic from the tin and push the onions and potatoes to one side. Tip in all of the diced root vegetables with the rapeseed oil and bay leaves, toss thoroughly with seasoning and then return to the oven for another 30 minutes until the vegetables are golden, caramelising on the edges and almost tender.
  4. Scoop the soft onion and potato flesh straight from their skins into the stock pan, then tip in the rest of the roasted veg chunks (and bay). Add some nutmeg, the mace, honey and another 1 litre of water. Squeeze in the soft roasted garlic from half of the cloves, then bring everything to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then discard the bay and use a stick blender or regular blender to whiz to a smooth soup. Stir in the cooked barley and season well.
  5. For the carrot-top pesto, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until they begin to pop and split. Set aside to cool. Pick the best leaves from the carrot tops, aiming for about three-quarters of the bunch. Put these, 35g of the toasted seeds, half each of the lemon juice and oil into a blender or mini processor. Squeeze in the rest of the roasted garlic flesh and pulse to a pesto consistency. Stir in the rest of the oil, plenty of salt, then enough of the remaining lemon juice to taste.
  6. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, topping with a good swirl of the pesto, a sprinkle of the reserved pumpkin seeds and a swirl of cream, if you like.

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