The Ultimate Roasted Vegetable Winter Soup with Barley

Cook time 1-1.5hr
Servings 2 Litres

Ingredients

3 carrots

2 zucchini

1 sweet potato

Half a head of garlic

1 onion

1 leek (take off one leaf for the bouquet garni then chop the white very finely, keep the green for compost)

1 stick of celery

6 sticks of rosemary

10 sticks of thyme

¼ bunch parsley stalks

1 bay leaf

3 peppercorns

2 L of quality vegetable stock (low salt)

1 Tbls butter

2 Tbls olive oil

Chervil or parsley with toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish

The Ultimate Roasted Vegetable Winter Soup with Barley

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

1 cup barley (cooked in boiling water until soft then strained in sieve seasoned and coated with olive oil)

Wrap the garlic in foil with olive oil and salt, cut the sweet potato, carrot, onion and zucchini into even sized pieces, coat in 1 Tbls of olive oil, season then place all on a baking tray and place into the oven until brown and roasted but not burnt around 45 minutes.

In a large pot start to sweat the leek and celery on a very low heat in the remaining olive oil until transparent sweet and soft around 10 minutes.

Add the stock to the leek mixture, and then add the roasted vegetables, making sure the garlic is taken out of its skin and any hard parts are removed.

Using one of the leak leaves make a bouquet garni by wrapping the rosemary thyme, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns in the leek leaf then tying tightly with twine.

Allow to cook for 15-30 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.

Remove the bouquet garni then blend with a stick blender, taste for seasoning, then serve in a warm bowl with a scoop of barley and crusty bread, garnish with chopped chervil and toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons if you have handy.