Celeriac, kale, barley and apple broth by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

This is the second book I have written with the pleasingly simple aim of making vegetables delicious – irresistibly, satisfyingly so. I want to do this so that you eat more of them; more of the ones you already love, and more of those you’re not quite sure about yet.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be a special guest at the London strain of the UK-wide Vegetable Summit which will also be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday the 24th October.

For more information about the summit visit http://www.nourishscotland.org

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

50g pearl barley or pearled spelt

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 (see page 190 for home-made)

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 finish


  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.

Extract taken from River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26) out now

In association with Taste Communications.