Thick vegetable soup

When I flick through cookbooks and food magazines, I'm seldom looking for a recipe to follow; I'm really on the hunt for ideas about what to cook for my dinner. Everyone has their own recipe for vegetable soup. I don't expect anyone to actually follow it, but maybe it will spark your imagination for something simple to make, now that the festive feasting is over and done with.

Makes 4 - 6 servings.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium carrot, grated

1 large stick of celery, cut into small dice

1/2 green pepper, cut into small dice

a pinch of dried oregano

a pinch of dried basil

a small bay leaf

1/2 tin of tomatoes

1 vegetable stock cube

1 generous ,heaped tablespoon pearl barley

2 1/2 pints of water

salt (approximately 1/3 of a teaspoon)

white pepper

1 medium potato, cut into small dice

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 sweetheart cabbage, finely shredded



Sauté the onion gently in oil in a large pot. Meanwhile grate the carrot and chop the celery and green pepper. 


Add them to the onions together with the herbs and the bay leaf, stir them in, pop a lid on, and turn down the heat to the minimum. Leave them to sweat for 15 minutes.


Add the half tin of tomatoes (I freeze the rest to use in the next batch) and the pearl barley, then crumble in the stock cube. Add the water and bring it to the boil. Pop the lid back on and let it simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.


Adjust the seasoning (it will need some salt at least), then pop in the potato and the frozen peas, bring back to the boil, and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Finally add the shredded cabbage before simmering for a further 20 minutes.

Let it cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!

Any questions? You can use the comments form at the bottom of the page.

Did you know?

You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series:

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