Pumpkin and barley soup

Tuesday, 15 November 2016
I've been getting back into soup making recently.  Nothing quite like having the week's worth of lunches all ready to go.  I love these Microwaveable Soup Mugs - I make the soup and decant into three of these for my three work days and I'm set.  The air vents on the top are clever too.  Bar one issue with a missing seal and a particularly adventurous beetroot soup, it's also pretty good at keeping the soup where it should be when I'm in transit too.

On a bit of a whim, I bought three pumpkins from M&S recently, given that they were buy two, get a third free.  While we did carve one pumpkin, I later thought that it would probably have been even better if we'd made use of the flesh after the creativity!

Pumpkin and squash are good as they keep for some time and so it's been pumpkin soup for a couple of weeks.  This is a rare soup where I'll suggest that the pumpkin is peeled - I so hate peeling pumpkin and squash that I wouldn't inflict it on you unless I thought it was worth it.  This is one of the most filling soups that I think I've made, with the chili to provide a warming note.

Stats: This is a bit of a monster soup - makes seven or eight servings, depending on the size of the pumpkin

100g pearl barley
two teaspoons of olive oil
one onion
two small red chilis
One large pumpkin
1.5l of vegetable stock

Heat a large pan.  Toast the pearl barley for a couple of minutes, keeping the barley moving to prevent burning.  When you start to smell the barley, it's done.  Remove from the heat and put the barley to one side.

Finely dice the onion.  Remove the seeds from the centre of the chili peppers and finely slice.  Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and pith from the centre and cut into cubes.

In the large pan, warm the oil and gently fry the onion and chilis for seven minutes.  Add the pumpkin, vegetable stock and barley.  Bring to the boil, then to a simmer.  Cover and cook for twenty minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Want to know what else to do with pumpkin?  Thankfully, there are loads of great recipes out there.  Pumpkin is super cheap at the moment as it comes to the end of the season, so also excellent value for money.

Pumpkin Spice Latte from Rough Measures
Cheesy pumpkin dip from Supper in the Suburbs
Miso Pumpkin Kimchi from Food to Glow
Pumpkin Pasties from Foodie Quine
Chocolate pecan pumpkin pie from Tin and Thyme

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