This is a delicious, healthy, super winter warming soup with a special twist taught to me by my mum. I make this soup when the nights start getting longer and you need something to warm you up, all the way from hat to socks. The edam cheese goes all stringy in the dumplings and is a perfect combination of flavours and fun textures. I could eat this every day and not complain. Maybe as a wee girl I didn’t and that is why is has stayed one of my favorite dinners of all time.
1 hour cooking time
- 50g/2oz pearl barley
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 leeks, roughly chopped
- 3-4 potatoes, diced into 1-2cm cubes
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 litre of vegetable stock (Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon is my preference)
- 2 tsp thyme (dried or fresh, or both)
- 50g/2oz vegetable or beef suet
- 25g/1oz edam cheese
- 150g/6oz self raising flour
- 2 tsp mustard (optional)
1. Place the pearl barley in a small pan, bring to the boil and simmer. Top up with water when needed and stir occasionally to prevent it sticking.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan add the onion then garlic and fry gently for 2mins. Add the leek fry 2mins. Add the potatoes, season with pepper and stir well. Turn the heat down low, put on the lid and let it all sweat for 20mins.
3. Add the stock, stir well and gently cook for 5mins. When the pearl barley has reduced down to a thicker consistency, add to the pan, stir well and simmer for 20mins.
4. To make the dumplings, mix together the suit, edam cheese and flour. Add the mustard to a small amount of water and stir in bit by bit to the dry mixture until the dumpling mix only just sticks together. Do not make it too sticky. Separate into around 8 balls and place in the soup after you have given it a good stir and made sure it bubbling. Put the lid on and simmer for 20mins.
5. Serve into four bowls with 2 dumpling each. Add buttered bread to the table if you are feeling extra hungry.
This soup is even better after it has been kept in the fridge for a day or two. If you prefer your dumplings crispy on top, heat it up in the oven, in an oven proof dish, making sure it is nice and bubbling. Then add the dumplings or a layer of dumpling mix on top for a delicious easy dinner.
Enjoy! You know I have too many times to count.