Friday, July 22, 2016

Barley soup for George IV #FLRoyalFood

This final recipe for my FutureLearn course is actually from Week 4, not Week 5.  For some reason in my local area there was a dearth of barley when I went looking for it initially - just an empty space on the shelves! The soup is essentially barley and beef stock and some greens and seasonings. We know from preserved menus that this is something that George IV ate when he was confined to his rooms at Kew Palace and only allowed to eat with a spoon.


I added spring onions and baby bok choi for the onion and greens, and pepper, garlic and ginger for the seasonings.  The original recipe suggested adding a handful of raisins, but I added dried grapes which probably did not have such a strong flavour. And the verdict?  Well, it could certainly be eaten with a spoon and it was fairly solid and nourishing. It tasted pleasantly enough, but I think I would prefer some stronger tasting greens and perhaps more ginger or chilli.  But I guess it was meant to be invalid food.



1 litre beef stock
250 gr pearl barley
4 spring onions
1 head baby bok choi
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp crushed ginger
Handful dried grapes


Place the stock in a large pan suitable for making soup
Add the barley to the cold stock and bring to a boil
Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 45-60 minutes until stock is reduced and barley tender
Meanwhile chop the sping onions and bok choi
Crush the garlic and ginger
Remove the grapes from their stalks
Add the greens, garlic, ginger and grapes to the soup mixture
Grind some pepper on top
Stir to combine and simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
Serve with a spoon.


Sherry Mackay said...

It must have been very thick. The recipe says 4 pints so I used 2 litres of stock. It was still incredibly thick :). It was tasty tho. I put in mushrooms which added a nice flavour. So sad the course is over.

Polyxena said...

Yes, it was very thick, more like pottage or porridge. The next day it had absorbed almost all the liquid and I had to add more. If I made it again I would reduce the proportions of barley versus stock. But as I am not a great fan of barley that is unlikely to happen :) Of course, I still have a spare half pound of barley to use.

I have had great fun doing the course.


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