Sunday, 22 July 2012

Asparagus, Potato & Pearl Barley Soup

On the menu of an Italian restaurant where we ate recently, my husband and I both noticed the asparagus, potato, and pearl barley soup. Although we ended up ordering other things on that occasion, the idea wouldn't go away, so I went on to make my own version. Have I mentioned lately how much I love asparagus? The potato makes for a creamy, thick soup base, and the pearl barley gives it a bit of texture.


Asparagus, Potato, & Pearl Barley Soup
Serves 4

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2tbsp olive oil
1.5 litres vegetable stock
500g potatoes
500g fresh asparagus (weigh after removing the woody ends)
50g (½ cup) pearl barley (dried)
pepper to taste

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
  3. Chop the potatoes into small pieces (approx. 1cm cubes).
  4. Add one litre of vegetable stock to the onions, and simmer the potatoes for about 45 minutes, until soft.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the pearl barley in the remaining 500ml of stock, adding extra water if necessary as the barley absorbs the liquid.
  6. Reserve about half of the asparagus tips for a garnish, and finely chop the remaining asparagus spears into 1cm-long pieces. Add to the soup and simmer until soft.
  7. Puree the potato and asparagus soup base, and add black pepper to taste.
  8. Stir the pearl barley into the soup, and add some extra stock if necessary to get your desired texture.
  9. Steam the reserved asparagus tips until tender (approx. 2 minutes).
  10. In the bowls, top the soup with the asparagus tips and a twist of fresh black pepper. Serve with crusty granary bread.

5:2 Intermittent Fasting button5:2 Diet
Without the bread, this soup has about 240 calories per serving, and because of the potatoes, it's really rather filling.


Jacqueline said...

That does look good Rachel.

Stephanie V said...

Soup is my favorite food - ever! This looks absolutely delicious and I'm off to make some for supper tonight. I just happen to ahve some asparagus. Yes, they are a true taste delight. Thanks for the recipe. That bread looks pretty tasty, too. May have to bake some this aft.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! I have a feeling the coming week and the summer in its wake won't have me craving for a hearty soup anytime soon, but I've printed this recipe for when the dreary weather returns!

(I also think I'm a fan of the tray you used as a backdrop!)

Rachel said...

Sounds delicious - asparagus is lovely!

christine said...

mmmm, I do miss the asparagus bed we used to have, don't you? this looks delicious:)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Your version sounds and looks delicious.

Charlotte Klein said...

Done and done. This sounds like a must-try recipe. Will pick up potatoes at the farmer's market next week (just missed my chance to make this soup by a day!)

Maria Long said...

this is amazing and I have asparagus growing in the garden. thanks for linking up to friday food frenzy

plasterers bristol said...

Top marks for this. Tastes great. Thanks for sharing.


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