Seasonally Souper!

Now that the nights are pulling in and the days getting cold, try this recipe for a thick, chunky soup to warm the cockles of your heart – it’s cheap, simple, nourishing and very delicious!

Helen’s Hearty Soup: Cost c. £3 – £4; preparation time c. 30 minutes; serves 4 – 6

250g Scotch Broth Mix (dried green & yellow peas, lentils, pearl barley etc)
250g dried yellow split peas
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 large carrots
2 parsnips
2 medium potatoes
oil for frying
1 vegetable stock cube
salt and pepper to taste
4 – 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (optional for carnivores!)

The day before: put the dried pulses in a pan, cover with boiling water, stir in stock cube and leave to soak overnight.
Day of making: simmer the soaked pulses gently until soft. Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion and garlic; peel and dice the root vegetables; chop the bacon (if using) into small pieces.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, fry for a minute, then add the bacon if using. Cook together for another minute, then add the diced roots, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the cooked pulses and more water to the desired consistency. Continuing cooking for another 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the roots are soft.
Serve piping hot with crusty bread for a substantial meal. The pearl barley gives it a gorgeous thick gooeyness, and the bacon adds a lovely smoky background note for meat-eaters – just the thing for a chilly autumn day. Enjoy!

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