Margaret Roberts was renowned for “bringing nature’s pharmacy into our lives and into our homes”. She was a huge inspiration to me and I love how she used natural herbs and real whole foods to correct and rebuild our health and vitality. This soup is one of my family’s firm favourites for winter and now I’d like to share it with you.
1 ½ Cups Pearl Barley soaked for 1 hour in boiling water or preferably overnight
1 ½ Cups Black Lentils
2 Large onions finely chopped
1 Cup chopped leeks including the green leaves
2 Cups chopped celery leaves and stalks
1 Cup chopped parsley
2 Cups chopped lettuce, green outer leaves especially
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Cup chopped radishes and their leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Litres good quality chicken or vegetable stock
A little olive or coconut oil
Fry the onions and leeks in the oil until they start to brown. Add the celery and stir fry. Add radishes and radish leaves and continue to stir-fry. Add the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Stir and cover. Simmer gently for about 1 hour. Add extra water if it becomes too thick. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Add the parsley and cook for another 5 mins. Serve hot.
This makes a large quantity (close to 4 litres) so use a large pot.
Add marrow bones or chicken breasts to the soup just before allowing it to simmer for 1 hour if you would like to add meat to the soup.
The soup is a very thick soup, adding an addition 1 litre of water seems to thin it out to a nice consistency. You can add stock to this additional water but be careful that the extra stock does not make the soup too salty.
Serve with crispy sour dough bread or gluten free bread.