Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cranks' Chunky Tomato Broth

From Entertaining with Cranks, 1985

2 oz pot barley
1 oz butter/marge
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 oz shredded white cabbage
1 medium potato, diced
1 leek, sliced
1/2 lb chopped tomatoes
1 pt vegetable stock
1 veg stock cube
1/2 pint tomato juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground bayleaf
chopped parsley

Cover the barley with water and boil gentle for one hour until tender, adding extra water if necessary. Drain. melt the butter in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic until transparent. Add all the remaining ingredients except the parsley, and stir in the barley. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 mins until all the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Cranks was a chain of vegetarian restaurants (quite an avant garde concept for the 70s and 80s). Their food was imaginative, but a bit heavy and lacking in spice.

If you use fresh, rather than tinned tomatoes, it would be better to skin and deseed them. Bring some water to the boil, put the tomatoes in the pan and let them boil for about one minute. Remove, and peel the skin off with a knife and fork.

And of course now fresh basil, thyme and bay leaves are easy to find in the supermarket, and hardly anybody uses dried herbs any more. If you use a fresh bayleaf, remove it before eating the soup. I would add a tsp of curry powder, a tsp of sugar and possibly a dash of vinegar.

The recipe doesn't tell you what to do with the veg stock and the stock cube - I imagine you use them for cooking the barley.

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