A Vegetable Soup packed with Nutrients!
This is an easy no-fuss vegetable soup recipe that I love to make in bulk so I can eat it for a few days for lunch when I’m working from home. It’s very filling and nutritious and very low in fat, which also makes it excellent for reflux sufferers*.
The quantities are not precise in this soup – it’s one of those ‘chuck everything in’ type of soups, so here are some guidelines to get you started.
- Pea and Barley Soup Mix (I use Sainsbury’s version, but there are others, for example Tesco Soup and Broth Mix) – 3-4 handfuls, depending on how much soup I’m making and how much bulk I want in it. These usually need soaking overnight – follow pack instructions. You can also use lentils instead, for a different taste & texture, or leave these out altogether. The vegetable soup is delicious on its own.
- A selection (or all) of the following vegetables:
- Savoy Cabbage, trimmed and quartered – I usually use a couple of quarters
- Curly Kale – lots!
- Fresh spinach leaves – lots! (whatever vegetables you choose to add or omit, I find that the spinach makes this soup extra special so I always include this)
- 2-3 carrots, trimmed, peeled/scraped and cut into big 2-3 cm long chunks
- 1 parsnip, trimmed, peeled and cut into big 2-3 cm long chunks
- Swede / Turnip, about half of one, depending on how large it is and how much you like the taste, peeled and cut into 2-3 big chunks
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into 4 big chunks
- Chicken stock cubes or stock pots – I use Knorr Chicken Stock Pots, but you could use vegetable stock instead and any good brand of stock pot or stock cube will work (quantities according to pack instructions, but typically 1 for each 500ml of water used)
Soak the Pea and Barley Soup Mix overnight as indicated on the pack instructions.
When you’re ready to make your soup, drain the pea and barley mix and place in a small saucepan, cover with enough cold water to have as much depth of water over the peas and barley again as there is depth in the peas & barley mix (i.e. if you have a 2cm depth of pea & barley mix in the pan, make sure you have about 2cm of water above the pea & barley mix). Add enough stock cubes / stock pots to make a normal consistency stock, based on the amount of water you have used. For Knorr Chicken Stock Pots, this is 1 Stock Pot per 0.5l of water. Place on the hob and bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for the cooking time recommended on the pack (usually around 50 minutes). The stock will reduce during this time and become quite thick. Do not let the mix boil dry – add more stock if required, but make sure there is only a little stock and it is quite thick by the end of cooking.
While the pea & barley mix is cooking in chicken stock, prepare your vegetables as described in the ingredients listing above. Place them all – but NOT the spinach! – into a large stockpot, add enough water to just cover the vegetables and enough stock cubes / stock pots to make a normal consistency stock, based on the amount of water you have used. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the hardest vegetables (usually the carrots) are soft. This can take approximately 30 minutes, but sometimes longer, depending on the size of the chunks.
Once the vegetable soup is cooked, turn off the heat and add the spinach leaves, pushing them down with a large spoon and stirring them into the soup. They will wilt within seconds. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then blitz it to a fine consistency, either in a food blender or by using a hand-held blender in the stockpot itself (this is the easiest option, and the one I use!). Take care to avoid splashing with the hot soup!
Once your pea & barley mix is cooked and the chicken stock it sits in is nice and thick, add the pea and barley mix, with its thick stock, to the lovely bright green vegetable soup. Stir it in and serve.
Gloriously Good, Gloriously Simple, Gloriously reflux-friendly!
*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified. The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux. If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you. I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management. The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet.