A lovely autumn-into-winter soup, this is nice and chunky with a sweet, aromatic note from the apples.

Serves 4–6


  • 50g pearl barley or pearled spelt Celeriac, Kale, Barley and Apple Broth 1
  • 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ small celeriac (about 250g), peeled and cut into roughly 1cm cubes
  • 1 litre hot veg stock
  • 150g curly kale or cavolo nero, leaves stripped off the stalks and roughly shredded
  • 5–6 sage leaves, sliced into fine ribbons
  • 2 medium eating apples, quartered, cored and chopped into roughly 1cm cubes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil, to finis


  1. Put the pearl barley or spelt to soak in cold water while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or small stockpot over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with some salt and pepper. When everything is sizzling, turn the heat down low, cover the pan and let the veg sweat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the barley or spelt well.
  4. Add the barley or spelt to the pan with the celeriac. Sauté, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the grain is almost tender (about 15 minutes for spelt, 25 minutes for barley).
  5. Stir in the shredded kale and sage and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cubed apple and cook for a further 2 minutes only. Remove from the heat, taste the soup and add more seasoning if needed.
  6. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and finish with a trickle of extra virgin oil and a grinding of black pepper, then serve.

Swaps and substitutes:

– Roots: Replace the celeriac with parsnips, turnips, beetroot or carrots.

– Greens: Swap shredded chard or spring greens for the kale.

– Fruit: Use firm, slightly under-ripe pears instead of apples.


Per 100g Calories: 86, Carbohydrates: 10.0g, Sugars: 3.8g, Fat: 3.5g, Saturates: 0.5g, Protein: 2.1g, Salt: 0.53g

Recipe and images courtesy of: River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

January 2018 (Issue 34) Vegan Life Magazine

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