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    Pearl barley soup with salsa verde

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    Pearl barley soup with salsa verde

    The punchy herb sauce cuts through the sweetness of the leek and butternut in this hearty soup.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes 40 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    2 Kallo very low salt vegetable stock cubes
    120g pearl barley, rinsed
    2 tbsp Essential olive oil
    350g pack diced butternut and sweet potato
    400g leeks, thickly sliced
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated 
    ½ x 25g pack basil, stalks and leaves separated 
    ½ tbsp nonpareille capers, drained and rinsed
    1 lemon, zest and juice
    4 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche

    Method

    1. Boil the kettle. Dissolve the vegetable stock cubes in 1.5 litres just-boiled water. Pour into a large pan with the pearl barley. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, heat ½ tbsp oil in a large frying pan over amedium heat. Add the butternut, sweet potato and leeks and fry for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown and soften. Finely chop the parsley and basil stalks and add to the pan, frying for 30 seconds. Tip into the pearl barley pan and cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the pearl barley is tender.

    3. While the soup is cooking, make the salsa verde; finely chop the parsley leaves, basil leaves and capers, then put in a small bowl. Mix in ½ the lemon juice and the remaining 1½ tbsp oil. When the soup is ready to serve, stir in the remaining lemon juice and season. Divide between 4 bowls and top each with a dollop of half-fat crème fraîche, a spoonful of salsa verde and a scattering of lemon zest.

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