60 g (2 oz) 1/3 cup pearl barley
1.2 litres (2 pints / 5 cups) vegetable stock
1 large carrot, diced
1 small turnip, diced
1 stick celery, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 young leeks, trimmed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs and 1 bay leaf
5 teaspoons tomato puree (paste)
salt and pepper
230 g (7 1/2 oz) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
for the cheesy croutons
1 thick slice bread 60 g (2 oz)
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1. Put barley into a saucepan with stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes, until barley is tender.
2. Add vegetables, herbs, tomato puree (paste) and salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf from soup, stir in beans and cook gently for 5 minutes to heat through.
4. Garnish the soup with the croutons and serve at once.
to make the cheesy croutons
1. Toast bread on both sides, remove crusts and scatter cheese over the bread.
2. Grill until melted and golden. Cut into squares.
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