Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Scotch broth.with lentils and barley

We eat so much soup that it gets a little embarrassing.  Just look at my recipe index.  And yet it is so healthy satisfying and delicious that I continue to eat it no matter what the weather.  Fortunately I have persuaded E that soup is a good thing.  He hated it when I first met him.  Now he embraces it with enthusiasm.  Especially when it reminds him of his mum.  Barley soup is always a winner with him as he had it regularly when he was young.

I based my soup on Karen's Meat-Free Scotch Broth.  I loved how simple and clear it looked.  My regular barley soup often gets very thick stodgy with the vegies that soften around the corners.  This soup had a tin of tomatoes and some red lentils, two of my favourite things.  When I came to making it I had lots of barley but not much carrots - Sylvia just keeps eating them - and a dearth of onions. 

The great thing about this soup is that it is very forgiving.  It is healthy, fat free and cheap.  It will welcome whatever is in the fridge.  It is easy to make.  You just need some time.  All the ingredients just get thrown in the pot and simmer for an hour.  I used home made stock and a little leftover miso lentil gravy from Isa Does It.  I found that I needed to add some extra water both during cooking and after it had rested overnight.  Extra water seemed to require extra salt.

We still had candles about after our Christmas in July dinner so Sylvia decided to eat dinner by candlelight.  Barley soup is peasant food.  Not at all posh.  Candlelight made it seem a bit more special.  Yet in reality barley soup in the past might have been eaten by candlelight because that was all the light that was available.  Which reminds me yet again how lucky I am to eat this when I crave it rather than because there was nothing else to eat.

Random photo of my baby lemons after today's spring rain
Update: I wrote this post a few weeks back when it was winter.  After some lovely spring weather on the weekend, today has brought us thunderstorms, heavy rain and flooded gutters.  I have been caught in the rain twice on my bike today.  I have been cursing the robbers who stole our car, which has now been written off.  Now I have to buy a new car (at least we are insured), to deal with the speeding ticket from when they were hooning around in my car, and to dry off all our clothes (and handbag, schoolbag, shoes etc) after Sylvia and I got home from school on our bikes.  Most displeased.  I wish I had a big bowl of this soup now.  Meanwhile a warm dry home is much appreciated!

I am sending this soup to No Croutons Required, a monthly vegetarian soup and salad blog event hosted by Lisa this month and run with Jacqueline.

More hearty vegan stews and soups from Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Scotch broth.with lentils and barley
Adapted from Lavender and Lovage
Serves 4 to 6

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1/8 large cabbage, diced
400g tin of diced tomatoes
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup dried pearl barley
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into stockpot.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour or until vegetable soft and barley is cooked.  Stir regularly to check the lentils aren't sticking the bottom of the pot.  Will last for a few days.

On the Stereo:
American Favorite Ballads: Pete Seeger

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food September 2014.  This year for Vegan MoFo my theme is The Letter S.  Today is S for S for Same Same Tuesdays.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my 2014 Vegan MoFo posts. 


  1. The.Boy is definitely iffy about soup also, but I think I'm slowly convincing him that it's a good thing. Love this hearty bowl!

  2. Oh my gosh, I thought everything was ok with your car. So sorry chaos (and rain) erupted this weekend. I agree, though, I love soups, too, aka one-pot meals. :)

  3. oh no about the car! The soup looks perfect for today's weather :)

  4. Just caught up with the car news - ouch. That's gutting, especially given the rain. There's not much else better than can warm you up from the inside than a good bowl of soup. I make a huge amount too - I think it's the relative lack of washing up that always appeals!

  5. Sorry to hear abut the car. Thank goodness for insurance! This soup looks the perfect comfort food in any case. It's not really wintry enough for something quite so hearty just yet here but I love this kind of meal in the depths of winter. Barley is so satisfying.

  6. MMm proper comfort food soup for these colder Autumn evenings. Love it! Sorry to hear about your car though. My son was asking me yesterday why we lock the car and I had to explain to him about car thieves (not like we get those in Shetland because there's only so far you can drive on a 35 x 80 mile big island group 200 miles from the mainland!). I hope your new car is awesome.

  7. I don't think too much soup can be embarrassing! It's such a great healthy meal. This looks like my favourite kind of soup - lots of veggies, lentils and barley. Sadly, Mr B does not like barley at all and I suspect it's a dislike I won't overcome. At least he likes soup generally though :)

  8. Oh no - I'm just catching up on the car news. That's awful. And I hope you don't have to pay a speeding ticket that occurred when your car wasn't even in your posssession?

    Soup looks lovely, though...

  9. Fellow soup lovers here, no matter which season it is! ;-)

  10. That sounds so nourishing and perfect for the cold temperatures we are getting right now. Thanks for sharing with NCR. I'm a bit late with the roundup, but it's coming, slowly but surely.


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