Well I’ve departed from the Woman’s Weekly Slow Cooking Cook Book for this one, though I think I’ve decided to buy it anyway, there are enough recipes in there that appeal to me to warrant a new cook book. I decided it was time to test out the slow cooker on a wintry veg soup jam packed with root vegetables. I had a couple of turnips from my own garden as well as some great parsnips from the farmers market calling out for being souped. Thursday is also a day off for me at the moment – that will all change from mid-July but at the moment it’s a no work, no kids day – so I can easily whip up some nice fresh bread rolls to serve with dinner, perfect for a feast of soup.
I hunted for a few recipes online and then sort of made up my own version, here is basically what I did.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, roughly diced
2 sticks of celery, roughly diced
1 large potato, roughly diced
1 turnip, roughly diced
1 parsnip, roughly diced
1/2 cup pearl barley
1.5 litres vegetable stock
3 teaspoons hot English mustard
3 tablespoons tomato puree
3 teaspoons dried herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and oregano, I’m sure fresh would work too, but it was raining and freezing and my herbs are so picked over at the moment… okay enough excuses)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients directly to the slow cooker except for half the stock and the flour.
Stir the flour into the remaining stock and then add that to the slow cooker. Giver everything a good stir.
Turn the slow cooker to low and cook for 7-9 hours. Adjust the seasoning. Use a stick blender to blend the soup if you prefer. I did this last step, but still left it fairly lumpy and ‘rustic’.
Serve hot with a little fresh parsley and crusty bread.
And the verdict, I enjoyed it, Miss One ate her entire bowl and then moved onto her sister’s bowl. Miss Three predictably only ate the bread. Mr Good very apathetic. It is worth mentioning that though that the parsnip flavour was quite distinct so if you’re not into it switch it for something else. Pretty much all the vegetables are inter-changeable except for the potato. In terms of preparation, this was by far the simplest recipe I’ve tried, no frying anything off. I actually set this to cook just before I went to bed and woke up to a lovely cooked soup ready for dinner tonight. Who says you can’t do things in your sleep?
And on a side note, the bread I made this morning used whey instead of water as I made ricotta earlier in the week. I’m not sure if it was the whey or just luck but they were the softest, fluffiest bread and a great crunchy top. I had initially been worried because is was so cold here today the first proving didn’t see the dough rise as much as I would normally expect.