The last few weeks has seen winter definitely arrive, but it’s been a special treat as we’ve had minimal rain. It’s my favourite kind of winter where the night time temperatures are very cold with daytime temperatures hovering around the 10 degree mark, but what’s made it truly exceptional this year is that we’ve had these glorious Highs settling over the country, so although it’s been cold with icy antarctic winds making their way northwards, we’ve had gloriously beautiful breathtakingly clear blue skies.
I love soup as not only do they warm you from the inside out, but the very concept is so versatile that I’m sure you could make a different soup for every day of the year. This particular soup begins with frying an onion, or leek if you prefer, adding sliced Portabello mushrooms (I love them for their depth of flavour), cubed pumpkin (skin and seeds removed, obviously), a litre of beef stock, a tin or two of tomatoes and their juice, a handful or two of raw barley and a few herbs and spices of your choice. Once boiling, you reduce it to a simmer, put on a lid and let it cook until the barley softens. A few minutes before the end, you shred the leftover roast beef, removing any skin and bits you don’t want floating around in a soup, and add it to the pot to reheat.
Served with dumplings, savoury scones or freshly baked bread and you have the perfect winter meal. It’s filling, healthy and delicious. And if you don’t have any leftover roast beef, make it anyway by throwing in an assortment of seasonal vegetables. Also great reheated the next day for lunch, although you’ll need to add more water as the barley will have soaked up most of the liquid overnight.
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large onion or leek, chopped
150 – 250 g Portabello Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cups diced pumpkin
1 litre beef stock
1 – 2 tins crushed tomato (depends on how many you’re feeding)
Herbs of your choice, although there is sufficient flavour in the stock, roast beef and vegetables
Leftover roast beef
- Gently fry the onion or leek for a few minutes then add the sliced mushrooms and pumpkin.
- Add any herbs if using.
- Pour over the prepared stock and add the tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin cubes have softened.
- Add the shredded left over roast beef and serve.