Waitrose root vegetable and kale soup mix

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I’ve seen these bags of soup ingredients Waitrose before, and I thought it would be interesting to try one. The root vegetable and kale soup mix with pearl barley sounded good, so I thought I would give it a try, and make the soup as closely as I could to how they instruct on the packaging.

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I started by removing the pearl barley from the packet and sweating the vegetables in a pan with a nob of butter, for about 5 minutes. When nice and glistening, I added the pearl barley and 600ml of Knorr chicken stock. This was my one deviance from the instructions, as I didn’t have any vegetable stock, but you can of course use either.

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With the stock in, I left the soup to simmer, with a partially covered lid, for 15 mins and checked that the veg was soft before I removed it from the heat.

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Once it was cooked I blitzed it with 3 short bursts in the blender. This didn’t puree it, but it did bring the soup together, without reducing it to baby food.

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It was a good texture, though I’m not sure if the pearl barley should be a little softer. Is it meant to be a bit ‘nutty’? The soup has a really rich, deep taste, though it was very much imporved by the addition of salt and pepper. It’s quite sweet, but well balanced and I liked the fact that there were no ‘added’ ingredients, everything was fresh and natural. It’s also very cost efficient – there’s enough soup for large 4 portions and at £1.50 it’s really good value. If you bought individual vegetables and fresh herbs to make this, it would cost a lot more.

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I might add some roast chicken to it if there’s any left from today’s roast dinner, for tomorrow’s serving. On the whole, a really nice soup – quick and easy to make, with no wastage. I’d definitely buy it again and it’s a good option for a shop bought/home made soup – and perfect for people who are too lazy to chop veg (like me!).

Ingredients:

  • Carrot
  • Swede
  • While onion
  • Kale
  • Celeriace
  • Pearl Barley
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Garlic puree
  • Black pepper

Words and pictures by @ladylavish

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Late summer minestrone soup

We decided to make a late summer minestrone, based losely on a Jamie Oliver recipe, but adapted to what we had in the fridge. It’s a lovely soup, fresh and light, and can be dressed in different ways. The ingredients we had made enough for about 6-8 portions.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 2 carrots
  • Pancetta lardons or streaky bacon
  • 1 large corguette
  • Green (fine) beans
  • Peas
  • Chicken stock (you can use veg stock)
  • Lettuce leaves

diced-veg

First dice onions, carrot and celery and saute in olive oil with some garlic. In a separate pan, fry some pancetta lardons until crispy. Once the veg have softened, add the bacon and the diced corguette.

veginstock

Top up the pan with a litre to a litre-and-a-half of chicken stock and add the green beans then leave to simmer until the veg is pretty much cooked. Add the peas near the end so they don’t over cook and just before you serve, drop in the lettuce leaves.

beans lettuce

Serve into bowls and dress with the crispy bacon, black pepper and parmesan cheese. Gorgeous.

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