Leek and barley broth, a simple and warming bowl of soup. The addition of butter beans and carrot make this a healthy yet filling soup.
Leek and barley broth is a simple soup that I’ve cooked for years and my Mum before me. I was lucky in that I grew up in a household where soup was always homemade and therefore tasted delicious! There is nothing fancy about this bowl of soup, just some vegetables, pulses and beans simmered together in a tomato flavoured broth. However it’s the simplicity of this leek and barley broth that I love. One of those soups that are a healthy meal on their own.
Some alternative ingredient suggestions:
As with all soups make it your own. If you don’t like barley then leave it out or replace it with some lentils or split peas. The butter beans are what I like to use as there’s a comfort to eating them. However if you prefer substitute with another type of bean, cannellini beans also work well in this dish. The vegetables used in this broth are simply some leeks, onion, carrot and a tin of tomatoes. You could add other vegetables to bulk out the dish like butternut squash or some celery.
Growing up we ate a lot of soup doubtless because it was nutritious and used up the many vegetables grown in our garden. It’s a tradition that I’ve kept going and soup is a regular mid week dinner for my family. Particularly on those nights when I’m running between activities, picking up and dropping off children. Soup is one of the best ways of getting all those important vegetables into our diets. This soup is hearty and a meal on it’s own and exactly the type of soup I like to warm me when it’s cold outside and you need some nourishment.
A broth is also a great dinner dish on night’s where you want to lighten things up a little. Those days when you want some meat-free nourishment. This vegan soup is delicious served with crusty bread, that’s how I like it. Most of all it’s a soup that is really quick and simple to prepare. There’s very little needed in the way of technique, the delicious vegetables doing all the flavour work for you.
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Leek & Barley Broth
- 4 leeks (sliced)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 2 carrots (sliced)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 75 g pearl barley (washed and drained)
- 400 g tin plum tomatoes
- 1.5 l vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 bay leaves
- 400 g tins butter beans (washed and drained)
- salt & pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and carrot to the pan, together with a pinch of salt and saute gently for 5 minutes to soften but not to colour.
- Add the tomatoes, barley, stock, herbs, bay leaf, salt and pepper, stir well. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer gently for 50 minutes or until the barley is cooked.
- Remove the bay leaves and add the butter beans. Heat up and serve.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only •