|Barley Broth with Leeks, a Hearty Vegetarian Meal.|
When preparing the barley, I prefer to partially cook it, drain and then rinse it before adding and to the dish to continue cooking. Naturally, that's just my preference, but I do think that it needs to be rinsed at some point after it has expanded in order to remove any particles or starch residue.
Barley Broth with Leeks Recipe(serves 3-4 people)
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3 medium sized leeks, chopped.
1 small onion, sliced.
3 medium sized carrots, chopped.
1/2 cup of pearl barley.
2 1/2 pints of vegan/ vegetarian stock.
3 tsp of dried marjoram.
4 tsp of mixed, dried herbs.
1 tbsp of vegan/vegetarian margarine or oil.
1 tbsp of chopped, fresh parsley to garnish.
1. Bring half a pint of salted water to the boil. Add the barley.
2. Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes. When the barley has started to expand, remove it from the heat. Drain and rinse the barley with boiling water. Put to one side.
3. Chop the vegetables, but not too small. Remember you're making a broth so you'll want to ensure that the vegetables are bite size.
4. Heat the margarine/oil, whichever you prefer, in a large pot. Remember that you'll be adding two and half pints of broth so use a pan which is large enough to hold this amount of liquid. When the margarine has melted, add the mixed herbs and marjoram.
5. Add the onion and leeks to the pan. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
6. Add the stock and the barley. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat for approximately ten minutes. Add the remainder of the vegetables, cover and simmer over a low heat for approximately 20-25 minutes.
7. Keep checking the broth periodically, as the broth will begin to thicken and you may wish to add a little more water or stock if you feel it has become to thick. Either way, you'll need to stir the broth every five minutes or so to ensure that it does not stick to the pan.
8. When the vegetables have softened and the broth has reached the consistency which you desire, it is ready for serving. Garnish with some chopped, parsley.
If you want to freeze the broth, wait until it cools and then ladle portion sized amounts into freezer bags. Ensure that you when you close the freezer bags, you have pushed out the air first. Freeze and just reheat when ready to use.