Lemon and pearl barley soup
SERVES 4-6 VEGAN
I have always loved using lemon to add brightness to my salads, but lately I have embraced lemons more as the leading flavour of a dish. This lemon soup is inspired by a Greek citrusy chicken broth called avgolemono – my version features pearl barley and chickpeas for maximum heartiness. A simple, vibrant soup for days when you need extra comfort.
1 brown onion, finely diced Extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked 220g (1 cup) pearl barley
2 litres (8 cups) vegetable stock
250g cooked chickpeas
(about 1 drained can)
Juice of ½ – 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
Sea salt and black pepper Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
1 Place a large pot over a medium–low heat and add the onion along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes until the onion has softened, then add the garlic and thyme leaves. Cook for another 2–3 minutes on low heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent but not coloured.
2 Add the pearl barley and stock to the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes, until the pearl barley is completely soft and starting to break down. Stir in the chickpeas along with the lemon juice, adjusting the level of citrus to suit your individual taste –
I love it very lemony. Cook until everything is heated through. Season with sea salt and lots of black pepper.
3 To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a scattering of parsley and extra lemon wedges on the side.
You can substitute pearl barley for pearl couscous or rice (to make it a gluten-free dish).