Celeriac, kale, barley and apple broth

Celeriac, kale, barley and apple brothRiver Cottage Much More Veg - Simon Wheeler

F&W pick: Celeriac, kale, barley and apple broth

River Cottage Much More Veg

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Bloomsbury Publishing, €36

Photographer: Simon Wheeler

Given the time of year, we’re all on a bit of a health buzz of late, and what better way to get the year off to the right start than to focus on more vegetarian meals. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is the man with the veggie inspiration, and his latest meat-free book offers up over 180 plant-based recipes that put good quality vegetables at the centre of meal times. We love his straight-forward approach that puts ingredients to the fore.

River Cottage Much More Veg

River Cottage Much More Veg

Celeriac, kale, barley and apple broth

Serves 4–6

  • 50g pearl barley or pearled spelt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ small celeriac, peeled and cut into roughly 1cm cubes
  • 1 litre hot veg stock
  • 150g curly kale or cavolo nero, leaves stripped off the stalks and roughly shredded
  • 5-6 sage leaves, sliced into fine ribbons
  • 2 medium eating apples, quartered, cored and chopped into roughly 1cm cubes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil, to finish
  1. Put the pearl barley or spelt to soak in cold water while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or small stock-pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with some salt and pepper. When everything is sizzling, turn the heat down low, cover the pan and let the veg sweat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the barley or spelt well.
  4. Add the barley or spelt to the pan with the celeriac. Sauté, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the grain is almost tender (about 15 minutes for spelt, 25 minutes for barley).
  5. Stir in the shredded kale and sage and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cubed apple and cook for a further 2 minutes only. Remove from the heat, taste the soup and add more seasoning if needed.
  6. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and finish with a trickle of extra virgin oil and a grinding of black pepper, then serve.