I like this soup at this time of year. Not only is it warming when the weather turns colder and the nights start at half-past four but it also looks Autumnal in colour.
This one takes some forethought because it uses dried grains that need to be soaked overnight before being used. As a result I tend to make it in a big batch, eat some and freeze the rest.
- 250g soup grain mix
- You’ll find this in the supermarket with the dried lentils and peas. Sometimes it’ll be called Farmhouse or Country Soup Mix
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- I tend to scrub the carrots to clean them and then leave the skins on
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 large potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- vegetable or rapeseed is fine too
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Put the soup grain mix in a large bowl and add loads of water, it will swell as it soaks so use more than enough to cover the mix. Cover it and put aside for at least 8 hours.
- When the soaking has finished, drain the water off and rinse the mixture, drain again and put to one side.
- In a large pan, gently heat the oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, mixed herbs and black pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and start to go translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While that’s softening make up 3 litres of vegetable stock. Add this to the pan with the vegetables.
- There’s loads of choice of stocks in the supermarkets, just use the one you like the look of.
- Add the soup grain mix, tomato puree and turn the heat right up. When it’s boiling, turn the heat down low and pop the lid on. Cook for 2 hours. Give it a stir about every 20 minutes or so to make sure it’s not sticking. When done, add the salt, stir and serve.
This makes a lot of soup so eat what you can and freeze the rest. It’ll be good for about a month in the freezer.
Want it even more filling? I sometimes add a bit of cooked rice if I’m feeling extra hungry. This is a pain if you haven’t got some cooked rice magically available so maybe use some Orzo (tiny pasta that is the same size and shape as rice) and add a couple of handfuls to the pan about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Don’t add it too early or it will break down into a mushy goop.
Like a bit of heat? Sprinkle on some ground white pepper when you’ve served it up or add a dried chili or two when the stock goes in.