Barley and Cauliflower Soup

Shop Ingredients


Vegetable scraps:
carrot and parsnip peel and tops
parsley stems
stick of celery
bay leaf
sprig of thyme

Pearl barley
1/2 Cauliflower or other veggies


As we all cook more comforting meals with this cool weather, the wonderfully sweet winter veg can easily be extended into stock and soup for another meal when you’ve not much time or energy to cook. I’ve simmered the veggie scraps of last night’s meal to make a stock that is ready for anything (in this case yummy barley and cauliflower). When you need a little restorative broth you can quickly prepare it with whatever you have on hand, in a couple of steps.

STOCK – We had a roast chook, so the chicken bones and the scraps from dinner (carrot and parsnip peelings and tops, radish tops, parsley stems and the last stick of celery from the fridge) were simmered uncovered for a few hours that night with a bay leaf and sprig of thyme, to make a reduced stock. Before I went to bed I fished out all the bones and veggies with a large slotted spoon (into the compost) and threw the small pot of stock in the fridge. Already it is a wonderful light broth, but I needed a heartier lunch.

MAKING IT INTO SOMETHING BIGGER – Simmer stock with a small handful of pearl barley for each person (10mins). While that is simmering you can quickly chop any fresh veggies you have into little cubes that will cook quickly. If I have one, I would always use a carrot they are just so sweet and tasty, but any root veggies are great. Cauliflower is really great with barley, I added the florets and stem of half a cauliflower and they all simmered with the barley (another 10mins). Chopped greens, or some mushrooms would also be really yummy with the barley. Use what you like. I top with my every-single-meal-I’m-not-kidding garden parsley, to make it even fresher.

When you’re cooking, think about throwing the scraps into a tub in the fridge or freezer instead of straight into the compost. When you have a decent amount you can put on a pot of stock one night, and pull a hearty soup out of nothing much.


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  1. Well, actually, I popped in just as this was cooking and loved it. Love the chewy barley. I’m making some now for lunch today.