All my soups are one-offs because I make them up. Big friendly always says to write them down, but I don’t, and then when he asks for the ‘one like the last time’ I have no idea what I did. But yesterday’s barley soup was too good not to make a note of, so here goes. I made a nice big pot, but it is almost done!


2 leeks, sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 chopped celery sticks

3 diced carrots

2 diced parsnips

5 skinned fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 cup pearl barley

A kettle of boiling water

1 Knorr veg stock pot

crushed cumin, turmeric, chili flakes, crushed coriander, salt, pepper

1 tsp tom yum paste

Worcestershire sauce

Sweat off onions, garlic, leeks and celery in a splash of olive oil. Add all spices, salt and pepper and cook until onions and leeks are tender and glassy. Add carrots and parsnips, stir and add water and the stock pot and the barley. Then add the tomatoes. Finally, add the tom yum paste and Worcestershire sauce. Let it cook gently for a good hour or so and add more water if the barley absorbs too much. It is delicious. And even better the next day.

Sorry. No pic. All eaten.