- 400 grams Eden Valley Barley, soaked in hot water for 45 minutes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head celery, tender stalks and young leaves separated and roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped, green herb parts chopped separately
- 1 brown onion
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 4 fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
- 2 litres chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan.
- Add the celery and onion. Cook together until they begin to soften.
- Add the fennel bulb and brown onion and fry, stirring until they begin to caramelise (about 15 minutes).
- Add the garlic and chilli, then after 1 minute, the herbs, celery leaves and tomatoes. Stir to combine and slightly reduce.
- Add half the barley. Allow to absorb flavours, then add half of the chicken stock.
- Reduce the heat and cook until the barley is tender (about 40 to 50 minutes).
- Cook the remaining barley in the rest of the stock for 40 to 50 minutes. Puree in a food processor and add to the soup.
- Season and serve with olive oil. This soup should be thick and creamy.
Credits: River Cafe Cook Book 2