Food Revolution Day Soup: Pearl Barley, Vegetable & Basil

  • Servings : 6-8
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 1:30 h
  • Ready In : 1:45 h

I was so excited to receive my Aussie Farmers Direct Food Revolution Day Box filled with fresh, local and seasonal fruit and veggies.  I was even more excited to see that it contained most of the ingredients needed to cook the soup I had in mind.  This pearl barley, vegetable and basil soup has fast become a favourite in this house.  It is actually inspired by Aussie chef, Tobie Puttock – a great mate of Jamie Oliver.  Quite appropriate I thought given we are participating in the Blogger Soup Challenge for Jamie’s Food Revolution Day 2013.

This soup is wholesome, it’s hearty, totally delicious and it fits the brief perfectly.  Cooked from scratch, it uses fresh local produce, simple ingredients and cooking techniques.  A delicious family meal that can be modified to suit even little bubs – just puree until you have the desired texture or just combine a few of these ingredients separately to make a simple puree.  George happily played food critic for me last night enjoying a few mouthfuls of soup with his dinner.

So I’ve Cooked It.  I plan to Share It with family. And I Live It – this is genuinely my style of cooking.  I hope you can do the same.

Nutrition Note:  Pearl barley, a winter warmer, gives healthy soups and casseroles a hearty boost.  It’s high in protein, carbohydrate and fibre, many vitamins and minerals, low in fat and great value too!  Put it on your shopping list today.

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  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, white part only, diced
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 swede, peeled and diced
  • 1 small bunch of basil, stalks finely sliced and leaves shredded and set aside
  • 1.5 L homemade or reduced salt chicken stock
  • pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan to serve


Step 1

Place the pearl barley in a sieve and rinse under cold water, then set aside. -

Step 2

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the onion, garlic, leek, celery, carrot, zucchini, potato, swede and basil stalks. Gently saute for around 15 minutes without colouring the vegetables. -

Step 3

Add the stock and bring to a light simmer. Stir in the barley, then cover the saucepan and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. When the barely is soft stir in the basil leaves. Cover and allow the soup to rest off the heat for around 15 minutes. Season with pepper and serve with parmesan cheese. -


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by dan on May 17, 2013

    I tried this today courtesy of sitting next to one of the cook’s hubbies at work – its delicious! Thanks Jess!

    • posted by Jess on May 21, 2013

      Thanks Dan! I’m glad you enjoyed it and were inspired to cook it at home. By doing that you made our food revolution day challenge a success 🙂 Jx

  2. posted by Rebecca on May 24, 2013

    just cooked this up and had it for lunch. It was heaven! The fresh basil just flavours it beautifully. I did not have quite enough homemade stock left in my freezer, so I supplemented with Campbells ‘real’ no-added salt stock, and it worked out quite well. A lot of the ‘salt reduced’ stocks in the supermarket still contain quite a high quantity of salt (if you are giving it to a littlie) – you have to check the sodium levels.
    I will be sharing this soup with my family, too!

    • posted by Jess on May 24, 2013

      Thank you for the lovely feedback Rebecca. I’m so glad you enjoyed it I just enjoyed a bowl of it myself for dinner tonight – it beats friday night takeaway! And I love that you were able to use some homemade stock in the soup because yes, you are right, just because a product is “salt reduced” doesn’t mean it is low in salt. Always best to check food labels and compare products. Enjoy sharing the soup with your family. J x

  3. posted by Elizabeth on June 19, 2013

    Hi just a quick note to let you know I pleased to have found this site & barley isn’t gluten free.
    Recipe reads like it would be beautiful though!
    And I love the name George, used it for my baby!
    Cheers Elizabeth.

  4. posted by Katherine on January 18, 2014

    This looks delicious! Can this be frozen after cooking? Are there certain soups that shouldn’t be frozen?


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