This soup is our tribute to the wonderful ingredients you can find in England's West Country. We like to use local Sharpham Park Pearled Spelt, Midford Cider made in Bath and local cheddar: both Greens of Glastonbury and Godminster Vintage Cheddars are vegetarian and absolutely delicious. Of course, if you're not in the West Country, or even not in England, you can make this soup with ingredients that are local to you.
The cheddar and mustard toasts aren't absolutely essential - the soup is delicious on its own - but they certainly make it all the more memorable!
West Country Broth with Cheddar and Mustard Toast
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 250g swede, peeled and chopped
- Handful of kale or Cavolo Nero, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 400ml dry cider
- 2 bay leaves
- 800ml vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 75g pearled Spelt
For the toasts
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1-2 tbsp cider
- 4 slices baguette or sourdough toasted
- Rinse the spelt, then place in a small saucepan with treble it’s volume of cold water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook till only just tender which takes about 20 minutes. The spelt grain should retain some texture, as it will continue to swell once added to the vegetable broth.
- To make the soup: fry the onion in the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan until soft and just golden.
- Add the garlic and the leeks. Fry for a couple more minutes, and then add the carrots, and swede.
- Add the cider, bring to the boil then reduce the heat a little and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock with the bay leaves and simmer until the vegetables are tender for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are nearly cooked, taste and season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked spelt, kale or cavolo nero and chopped parsley and simmer for a further 5 minutes. You may want to add a little water if the broth is very thick.
- To make the toast: mix the grated cheddar with the mustard and enough cider to bind to a thick paste.
- Spread the slices of toast with the cheese mix and grill until bubbling and golden.
- Serve the soup as it is or topped with a Cheddar and Mustard Toast and parsley to garnish.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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