So I turned to my kitchen cupboards for some ingredients to make a warming soup, namely pearly barley, some tinned beans and sweetcorn.
Sage is not a herb that I cook with often. In the past I often associated it with meat dishes and having very little place in vegetable dishes. I also found the flavour of soapy and pungent, however in the past few years I have started using it in my cooking sparingly. One way I enjoy cooking with sage is making a sage butter sauce to coat pasta, or in a cabbage polenta dish (see my blog header).
Mele Cotte for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #297. WHB is overseen by Haalo from Cook Almost Anything; and Garden Tuesday at Sidewalk Shoes.
Barley and Sage Soup
Serves 6 - 8
200g pearl barley, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bay leaves
10 - 12 sage leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small can of sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can of kidney bean, drained and rinsed
Melt the butter wit the oil, bay leaves and sage in a wide pot. Add the onion and carrot, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and the tomato paste.
Drain the barley, add it to the pot with 2 pints of vegetable stock and salt to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer, then cover ad cook until the barley is tender about 35 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Then stir in sweetcorn and kidney beans and simmer for a few minutes to heat through, before serving. NOTE: If you leave this soup overnight, you will see that the stock will have been absorbed by the thirsty barley, so you will have to top off with more stock on reheating. Adapted from Deborah Madisons Vegetable Soups.