Use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and pantry. If you don’t have real chicken stock, use a shop one (not as good, but this is rescue soup time, not haute cuisine), and ALWAYS have a packet of pearl barley in your pantry.
I’ve been called a ‘creative cook’ – I hardly ever measure things, and I use the taste and smell test – maybe creative is a kind way to say ‘disorganised’ and ‘make it up as she goes’ cook. I prefer to call myself a sensory cook and this soup sure fills the senses, and the stomach.
Author’s Rescue Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped / 1 crushed garlic clove
Peeled and chopped (small) pieces of pumpkin, sweet potato (white), zucchinis, celery, fresh peas, a some fresh okra (these were all in my fridge today), carrots
Oregano, cumin and pepper to taste
1 litre chicken stock
¾ cup pearl barley (micro-waved in water first until almost soft)
½ cup chick peas (from a tin)
Fresh lemon juice
Bunch of fresh coriander
- Gently cook the onion until transparent (and it smells good) then the garlic (don’t burn)
- Add all the vegetable ingredients and a sprinkle of oregano and pepper
- Add chicken stock to the pot and stir up the heat – make sure the vegetables are covered (add a bit of water if necessary)
- Add pearl barley and chick peas – stir through
- Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked and the barley has soaked up more of the flavour. (Timing depends on how thick you cut the pieces).
- Squeeze over lemon juice and stir through. Pour into bowls.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander.
- Serve with toasted rye bread (or whatever bread you like)
- Warning: do not eat in front of computer!