Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Great veggie light lunch

Beetroot & Barley Risotto, Parsley Soup

Beetroot & Barley Risotto, Parsley Soup

In this photo I’ve served a chicken breast, eringi mushroom & a couple of candy beetroot slithers with beetroot risotto & parsley soup. Fact is the risotto & soup are delicious in their own right. Making a brilliant starter, light lunch or veggie special also make a great accompaniment; a fillet of sea bass or turbot would work well.

The beetroot barley risotto & parsley soup combination have often featured on London Street Brasserie’s menu over the years & I’ve often been asked how to prepare them so here’s the recipes:

Parsley Soup

  • Large bunch curly parsley, leafy heads picked, approx 100g

  • Handful baby spinach leaves

  • 50ml whipping cream

  • 50g butter

  • For reheating:

  • 100ml whipping cream

  • Sea salt flakes

Bring to the boil a sufficient amount of salted water to accommodate the parsley. Add the parsley & simmer for 9 minutes, refresh immediately in a sink of cold water with ice cubes. Squeeze out the parsley until completely dry.

Pop the parsley into a food processor, add the baby spinach & blitz. Add cream & softened butter to the mix to form a paste. This paste will keep in a sealed container for two days without losing its vibrant green.

When ready to serve, heat a little cream in a saucepan, add parsley paste to the required consistency, season & serve.

Beetroot & Barley Risotto

  • 100g pearl barley, well rinsed

  • 500ml chicken stock

  • 2 medium beetroot, peeled & coarsely grated

  • 1 medium potato (Maris Piper by preference), peeled & coarsely grated

  • 25g butter

  • 25g grated parmesan

  • Sea salt flakes

Simmer barley in chicken stock for 40 minutes until it has absorbed the stock & is soft. Check the barley packet for the specific cooking time. Remove from the pan, spread on a tray & allow to cool.

Bring 500ml salted water to the boil, add the grated beetroot & potato & simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor & blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve using the back of a spoon to force the puree through.

When you are ready to serve, warm the barley in the beetroot puree in a saucepan. Add parmesan, butter & check seasoning.

Paul Clerehugh, owner and head chef at The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row and London Street Brasserie in Reading, shares his recipes with Standard readers. This month, it’s beetroot and barley risotto, with parsley soup

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