Thursday 26 March 2015

One Day a Week Vegan :: sunshine soup

The patchwork quilt March weather where one minute the sun is shining and the next rain or even hailstone clouds stain the sky dark grey, makes me want warm, comforting, substantial food. This wholesome seasonal root vegetable soup is a change from the usual pumpkin, or carrot and coriander. Spiked with ground spices that add extra earthy flavour and chilli for a warming hit; with the addition of dried split peas and pearl barley that make it nuttily hearty to keep you going on early spring days like today.  

Ingredients for four good sized bowlfulls:
  • About a pound of organic carrots
  • One medium sized red onion
  • Two or three cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • A little ground cumin and turmeric...partly for the lovely earthy flavour but mostly because it looks like bottled sunshine in the jar.
  • A good pinch of chilli flakes
  • One or two bay leaves
  • Two sticks of celery
  • A small piece of swede (optional)
  • Vegetable stock or hot water (there's a good recipe here)
  • A handful of dried split peas
  • A handful of pearl barley
  • Olive oil or alternative
  1. Peel and finely chop the onions, pour a little olive oil into a heavy based saucepan and cook until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and peel all the other vegetables. Cut the celery sticks lengthwise and then chop very finely. Grate or finely chop the carrots and dice the swede. 
  3. Once the onions are cooked add peel and crush the garlic and add to the pan and cook for a few minutes being careful not to burn. Add the ground spices and cook for a further few minutes.
  4. Add the salt and pepper and mix well and then add all the other vegetables. Stir well to combine all the flavours and cook for a couple of minutes until they begin to soften.
  5. Wash and add the barley and the split peas again stirring to absorb all the flavours. 
  6. Add a litre of hot stock or water bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to cook until the lentils and barley are cooked.
  7. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. 
You could blend this soup if you like a really creamy consistency but I like to leave the grated carrots to meld into the soup leaving the lentils and barley for a little chewy  texture. This is a new favourite. Delicious with my home made spelt bread substituting the honey with a little maple syrup or brown sugar on vegan days.'s a shame I forgot to take a photo before it all got guzzled up...I'll add one next time I make it. Oh and I'll share the recipe for my new favourite barley risotto too.

This is just part of a vegan day can find some more recipes for complete vegan days on the following links:


  1. Replies
    1. It was scrumptious...perfect healthy comfort food.

  2. That sounds very comforting and appeals to my very much as I sit here shivering!

    1. I hope the sun's shining for you today Debbie...if anything like here it will be windy and rainy. I can hear it howling down the chimney as I write. I think I may make some steamy bowls of hot chicken noodles soup for supper tonight.
      Keep warm and have a great weekend.

  3. my stomach is roarin....(it IS lunchtime here)....but I'm not going to be eating nearly as healthy or delicious. yum

    1. Sometimes a bit of unhealthy is good too.
      Enjoy your lunch,

  4. Sunshine soup...perfect for our unpredictable March weather as well! I will be giving this recipe a try. Thanks!