Ingredients

This is a wholesome, nourishing and delicious broth. The serials give body and texture to the broth and the last minute additions of parsley, parmesan cheese and olive oil add a little richness to the ambrosial nature of the dish.

Serves 8-10

  • 60g spelt
  • 60g pearl barley
  • 60g green lentils
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 300g leeks, thinly sliced
  • 200g carrots, peeled and neatly diced
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 800g tomatoes, if fresh very ripe, peeled and diced or chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1.25l chicken stock

To serve

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Rinse the spelt, barley and lentils briefly in cold water and strain. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add in the bay leaf, thyme leaves, chilli flakes, leeks, carrots and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper and coat in the oil.
  2. Place a lid on the saucepan and sweat on a very low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Add the spelt, barley and lentils along with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Add a pinch of sugar and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer very gently for about 1 hour or until the serials are tender. It is vital the broth barely bubbles as it cooks otherwise the liquid may evaporate and become too thick and strong. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  4. Lift the garlic head out of the broth and allow to cool. Squeeze the cooled garlic flesh out of the skins and mash with a fork to a puree and add back into the broth. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Serve the broth bubbling hot and sprinkled with chopped parsley, a little grated parmesan and a good drizzle of olive oil.