Mushroom and barley soup


This recipe is easily adapted with any type of mushrooms you can source. If using dried mushrooms, make sure you soak them well before cooking.


Serves 4


- 200g pearl barley

- 40g butter

- 200g onion, diced

- 1 clove garlic, crushed

- 1 sprig rosemary

-1 sprig thyme

- salt and pepper

- 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, chopped finely

- 850ml chicken stock

- 80ml sherry

- 250g field mushrooms, sliced

- extra virgin olive oil

- 1 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish


Cook barley in 1.5 litres of water for an hour, strain and reserve. Melt butter and fry onion until translucent. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and cook together. Add Swiss browns and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add barley, stock and sherry to the onion mixture. Cook for 20 minutes. Saute the field mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil, seasoning with salt and add to the barley and stock. Cook for about 10 minutes and season with black pepper. Serve topped with chopped parsley.


Pea, zucchini zuppa with quinoa and crispy prosciutto

The crispy prosciutto and parmesan can be quite salty, so be careful not to over-season your soup.

Serves 4


- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 20g unsalted butter

- 2 leeks, sliced thinly

- 3/4 cup quinoa

- 1.25 litres chicken stock, heated

- 2/3 cup frozen peas

- 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced

- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

- 4 slices prosciutto or pancetta

- shaved parmesan to serve

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Add hot stock, then bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the quinoa is almost tender. Add peas and zucchini and season to taste. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook for 1-2 minutes until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Ladle the soup into bowls, crumble over the crispy prosciutto, and sprinkle with parmesan.


Spiced Moroccan and meatball soup

By adding the meatballs to this soup it creates a meal in a bowl that is perfect for feeding larger crowds.

Serves 4


- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 1 onion, finely diced

- 2 garlic cloves, crushed

- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

- 1 tsp ground ginger

- 2 tsp ground cumin

- 1/2 bunch coriander stems, chopped

- 1 fresh chilli, chopped finely

- 2 carrots, diced

- 1 zucchini, diced

- 4 cups chicken stock

- 500g beef mince

- 1 egg, lightly beaten

- 2/3 cup breadcrumbs

- salt and pepper

- 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped

- 1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, then cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in cinnamon, ginger and cumin, then cook for a further 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer half of this mixture to a bowl to cool. Return pan to medium heat. Add coriander stems and chilli, then cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in carrot, zucchini, stock and one cup of water, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Meanwhile, using your hands, combine the onion mixture, mince, egg and crumbs in a bowl and season. Roll into walnut-sized balls, then chill for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs, in batches, for 2-3 minutes until golden. Ladle soup into bowls, add meatballs. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and almonds.


Lentil, spinach and lemon soup

This quick and hearty vegetable soup is perfect for those cold winter nights.

Serves 6


- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 1 large onion, finely chopped

- 2 garlic cloves, crushed

- 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils

- 3 potatoes, peeled, diced

- 2 litres vegetable stock

- 1 bunch English spinach, leaves removed, washed, chopped

- 2 lemons, rind finely grated, juiced

- salt and pepper

- turkish bread, to serve

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until soft. Add lentils, potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil. Skim any residue from surface of soup. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat. Add spinach, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Ladle into bowls. Top with lemon rind. Serve with bread.


Vietnamese chicken soup with mushrooms and bok choy

I love brothy soups which are packed full of flavour and little surprises.

Serves 6


- 1 tbsp vegetable oil

- 1 large brown onion, diced

- 5 cloves garlic, finely diced

- 1 large knob ginger, peeled, finely diced or minced

- 3 litres water

- 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

- 6 star anise

- 4 chillies, finely sliced

- 1 large free-range chicken

- 4 cups thickly shredded bok choy

- 1 can straw mushrooms, sliced in half

- 1 packet soba noodles, cooked

- 1/2 cup fish sauce, plus extra to taste

- 2-3 limes, juice only

Place a large saucepan over medium to high heat, add oil. When oil is hot add onion and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until onion is translucent and soft. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add water, cinnamon, star anise and chillies to the saucepan. Bring to the boil. Once water is boiling, add the chicken. Let the water come to a gentle simmer then turn off the heat completely and allow the chicken to sit in the water for about 50-60 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water, reserving the stock. Allow the chicken to cool then remove the meat and shred. Bring the stock to the boil, skim for any impurities that come to the surface, add bok choy, mushrooms, noodles and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Add chicken back into the stock, season with fish sauce. Taste and see if it needs more fish sauce. To serve, squeeze fresh lime juice over soup in big bowls.


© The West Australian