Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Soup w/ Pearl Barley

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep: 30-60 mins (*Dependant on skill and desired serving size.)
Cooking time: 4-7 hrs (*Dependent on SC setting.)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, magnesium, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and saturated fats!

This is a great autumnal or winter vegetable-based soup. It’s easy to execute and adapted not only to the season but your taste buds! Our variation contains a great blend of herbs and some delicious (chunky) veggies! 

The peas and pearl barley provide a great source of protein, but feel free to swap them for your favourite type of legume, pulse and/or grain; smoked seitan or tofu would also make a tasty addition! Diet permitting, you could add a little lean beef or chicken (we think that this could also work quite well!). 

We cooked the pearl barley separately and would recommend doing so, unless this is only going to be served as ‘one meal’. We have found in the past that the pearl barley keeps absorbing liquid… so your next day leftovers will be more barley than broth! :/

You’ll find that we initially kept the liquid to a minimum; we were waiting to see how much water was given off in the first 3 hours before adding any more! However, we have advised for everyone to add all of the liquid at start of the cooking process. 

Quick Food Fact: Per serving (based on 10 servings!), this soup provides you with about 3.3 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

We used 1/2 the swede and 1/4 of the cabbage shown here; fresh thyme and rosemary not shown here.

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print version? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Wash and then chop the potato into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and quarter the parsnip. Transfer the potato and parsnip into a slow cooker.

 

 

Wash, peel and chop the swede into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and slice the carrot; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

The only root vegetable we peeled was the swede; it’s time saving, but it also adds some extra nutrients to the soup (just remember to give your veggies a good scrub first)!

 

 

Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Peel and dice the garlic; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

 

 

 

Wash and roughly slice (or shred) the cabbage leaves. Wash the parsley; remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the rosemary sprigs from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the thyme leaves from its stem.

 

 

Add the cabbage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, black pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt  into the slow cooker. Add the pearl barley (if applicable*).

*See above notes.

 

 

Prepare the stock. Pour in the hot stock and some (just boiled) water. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heating setting for about 3.5 hrs or on a low heat setting for 7-8hrs instead.

 

 

When there is about 40 minutes of cooking time left, defrost the peas. Add the corn flour to a small dish with equal parts water; stir into a paste to form a ‘slurry’. Add the peas into slow cooker. Whilst stirring, pour in the slurry. Stir until dissolved and combined. Cover with the lid. Cook for a further 40 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions.

Ours took 30 mins to cook. NB: We lightly oiled and seasoned the leftover pearl barley to prevent it becoming one, big flavourless blob!

 

 

Stir and season the soup to taste before serving.

 

 

Serve warm. Place some pearl barley into a large serving bowl (if applicable). Ladle the soup over the barley. Stir together. Garnish with some parsley (if preferred).

We served ours with some tasty spirulina-based bread! 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Thai green Curry w/Baked Tofu

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 15-75 mins (*Depending upon if you bake your Tofu)
Cooking Time: 4-8hrs (*Depending upon S.C. setting)

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, D, E & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

Hi everyone! It’s been a while but we hope that you’ve all had a great summer! It always seems to go by in a blink of an eye… and you forget just how quickly it has gone until it suddenly starts getting dark before eight o’clock and you start layering your bed with thicker blankets! 😦 

Whether we like it or not…the season is changing! I for one will be glad to see the back of all of this uncomfortable and humid weather we’ve had and of course wasps! Arguably autumn has now arrived and what better way to kick off this rainy UK week than with a tasty Thai Green Curry. Here’s a delicious, slow cooker curry recipe straight from our kitchen to yours! 

For those of you that might remember, we made a healthy Thai red curry last year along with some Thai Yellow Laska soup! We took on our substitution idea and used a healthful DF milk instead of over doing it on tinned coconut milk; in similar fashion to when we made our Rice and Peas!  The result: a healthy and varied curry still packed full of flavour and great textures! #reducesaturatedfat #actiononsalt 

It was our first time making a Thai Green Curry paste; we used a section of green chillies, including one green long dutch chilli and a green serenade chilli (both have a medium heat). Our curry paste was quite mild, particularly because we only used two (de-seeded) chillies. For a more intense flavour, use more chillies, garlic, lemon grass etc. (this will also allow your curry paste go further = more curries at your disposable!); we had to add eight tablespoons of our mixture to achieve the flavour that we were looking for.  

If you are currently in a position to make your own paste, use a store bought variety but be ware of the salt and fat contents; our home made variety is pretty tasty and definitely worth experimenting with!

Happy hump day and happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

….They’re a little frosty (our chillies came straight out of the freezer)!

 

 

Ingredients:
Use a combination of green chillies that you love (and can tolerate)!

Use a combination of green chillies that you love (and can tolerate)!

 

 

Directions:

Make the Thai Green Curry paste. Wash the coriander, lemon grass, lime, ginger root and chillies. Peel and roughly chop the shallot and garlic. Tear the bunch of coriander into half and place it into a food processor. Add the shallot and garlic.

 

 

Trim the ends off the lemon grass, slice it vertically, gently press it with a knife and then finely chop. Peel and grate the ginger. Grate all of the lime zest and then juice it.

 

 

Place the lemon grass, ginger, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, agave, coriander seeds, black pepper and kaffir leaves into the food processor. Blend until purred.

We roughly chopped the shallots and garlic…but feel free to thrown everything in whole ( if you have a powerful processor)!

 

 

Wash and roughly chop the corn. Wash the courgette, trim off the ends, slice if vertically and then roughly chop it into halves. Wash the spring onion, trim off the ends and then roughly chop.

 

 

Place the corn, courgette and onion in a slow cooker.

 

 

Add the reduced fat coconut milk, coconut milk, prepared vegetable stock and 8 tbsp of the Thai green curry paste. Cover with a lid. Cook on low, medium or high heat setting for 7, 5 or 4 hours respectively. NB: if using store bought curry paste, adjust accordingly. Stir together.

 

 

Drain and press the tofu between two heavy plates for 30 mins. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drain and chop into 1 inch pieces or 1.5 cm cubes. Place into a bowl. Add the ground ginger, soy sauce and peanut oil. Gently toss to coat. Leave to marinade for 10 mins.

 

 

Place onto the baking ray and bake for 16 mins, turn and return to the oven for a further 16-18 mins or until slightly crispy. Remove. Add to the slow cooker once cooked or refrigerate and add later on.

 

 

Defrost the beans. Place the corn starch into a dish with equal parts water and stir into a paste.

 

 

Add the tofu, green beans and corn starch mixture 30 mins before the ends of cooking. Stir through. Cover with a lid.

 

 

 Cook your rice or rice noodles according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Remove the coriander and basil leaves from it stem and roughly chop them. Heat a dry frying pan over a med-high heat and dry fry the peanuts until lightly toasted. Remove and roughly chop them on a chopping board.

 

 

Stir through the coriander and basil leaves before serving (save some for a garnish, if preferred).

 

 

Place rice or rice noodles into a large serving bowl. Ladle over the curry. Top with toasted nuts and garnish with any reserved herbs (if preferred).

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; best consumed within 1-2 days. Save any remaining paste in a clean, air tight jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

If preferred…

  • If you prefer your tofu with a softer texture or do not have the time to bake it, just drain, press, chop and then add it to the slow cooker to cook with the rest of the curry. 
  • Keep the vegetables authentic and/or seasonal/frugal. Try using some aubergine, water chestnuts, chopped spinach or sugar snap peas.
  • If your budget allows it, substitute the ginger root for galangal root and add some tamarind paste into the curry paste for another depth of flavour.
  • Can’t source kaffir leaves?  Just use some more lime or lemon grass instead! Kaffir leaves come from the lime plant; they’re very aromatic (a citrus scent of course!) and it won’t be devastating to your meal if you have to substitute them for the above ingredients.
  • Don’t add the lime juice to the curry paste. Stir it in before serving to prevent your DF milk from curdling during cooking. 
  • Don’t fancy rice?! Try adding some baby new potatoes to the curry instead!
  • Depending on your diet, try substituting tofu for: marinated tempeh or seitan, cannellini beans, chicken breast, white fish or a boiled egg!