simple vegetable soup

easy vegetable soup

30th October 2017

This is a quick, simple, useful soup which doesn’t tie you to specific ingredients, allowing to substitute what is available in your fridge or garden. Being the start of Autumn, I am enjoying digging up crisp potatoes, picking the last of the beans and podding those over-matured borlotti beans, which I somehow missed harvesting.

Late afternoon walk ~ Sintra mountains

easy vegetable soup

Serves 4

The whole ground peppercorns give the soup a soft kick; the cumin & coriander seeds add earthiness, and the lemon brings all the flavours together. The vegetables listed are those that work best for me. It can be made with any seasonal vegetables – sweet peas or green beans, sweet potato instead of potato, fennel instead of celery.  I like to serve it with guacamole and freshly baked challah bread.

It is important to toast and grind your own spices to bring out their flavour, enhancing this soup.


3 Tbsp ghee/oil

2 stalks/150g celery

¼ cup/45g pearl barley/red rice

1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped

1 fresh bay leaf

8 cups water

1 large/130g potato

2 medium/140g carrots

1 cup/70g chopped cabbage

½ cup/60g freshly shelled borlotti beans/green beans

1 cup/120g spaghetti squash/pumpkin

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tsp coriander seeds

¼ heaped tsp whole peppercorns

1½ heaped tsp rock salt

 heaped tsp sugar/jaggery

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ cup fresh coriander or kale


1.  Finely slice celery stalks and set aside. Peel and finely chop the potato and carrots into small cubes, along with the remaining vegetables.

2.  In a medium pot over high heat, drizzle in the oil/ghee and sauté the celery until tender. Add barley, ginger and bay leaf – sauté until coated in oil, then add water and remaining vegetables.  Rapidly simmer, uncovered for 45min – 1 hour.

3.  Place the whole peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds into a small pan and dry-roast over medium heat until fragrant. Allow to cool, then roughly grind in a mortar and pestle, add to the soup along with the salt and sugar.

4.  Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes, or longer for the flavours to develop. Taste, adding more sweetness or salt.  Sprinkle in a generous handful of finely chopped coriander or kale. Serve with a drizzling of ghee and more fresh coriander.  If trying to avoid bread, it is lovely served with a spoonful of rice.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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