Friday, 8 November 2013

Autumn Soup

As I mentioned in past posts. we seem to have dived straight from summer to winter. The leaves fell from the trees over a single weekend in one great whoosh, the weather went from balmy to miserable almost overnight, and the evenings went from 'light at 8pm' to 'pitch black at 5pm' almost as soon as the clocks went back.

So to convince myself that all is well with the world, I have created an autumn soup as a nostalgic look back to those years when the third season of the year meant leaves were red, evenings were dusky but warm, and people's outerwear was interesting.

Why 'autumn soup'?, Well, the ingredients say something about about summer - the fresh green peas, the spring onions and broccoli - and some say something about winter - the smoked cured sausage and the barley. As anyone knows; summer + winter = autumn. It's simple maths really.

Just down the road from where we live, the Marylebone farmers' market have fantastic fruit, veg, bread artisan foods and meat stalls every Sunday morning. That's where I bought most of the ingredients for this soup. As Xmas looms, I will be there buying even more wintery veg for my winter soups - Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac spring to mind. Delish. Can't wait.

Cost-wise, this soup comes in at a very reasonable £1.50 per huge serving. Not that you need a particularly huge reason at this time of year to stay in and cook.

Serves 2


1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 head of broccoli, cut into very small florets
150g smoked cured sausage, cut into thin slices
50g pearl barley
1 litre chicken stock
100g peas
3 spring onions, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper

In a large saucepan/crock pot over a medium heat, sweat the onion until soft, and add the broccoli, the sausage and barley - then turn everything in the oil until well coated. Add the stock and simmer for an hour until the barley has swelled up. Add the peas and cook for a minute. Serve with the spring onion as a last minute garnish. Season to taste.

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