The Crooked Billet

Beetroot & Barley Risotto, Parsley Soup

Serves 2
Beetroot & barley risotto with parsley soup

In this photo I’ve served a chicken breast, eringi mushroom & a couple of candy beetroot slithers with beetroot risotto & parsley soup. Fact is – the risotto & soup are delicious in their own right. Making a brilliant starter, light lunch or veggie special – also make a great accompaniment; a fillet of sea bass or turbot would work well.

The beetroot barley risotto & parsley soup combination have often featured on London Street Brasserie’s menu over the years & I’ve often been asked how to prepare them – so here’s the recipes:

Parsley Soup

Large bunch curly parsley, leafy heads picked, approx 100g

Handful baby spinach leaves

50ml whipping cream

50g butter

For reheating:

100ml whipping cream

Sea salt flakes

Bring to the boil a sufficient amount of salted water to accommodate the parsley. Add the parsley & simmer for 9 minutes, refresh immediately in a sink of cold water with ice cubes. Squeeze out the parsley until completely dry.

Pop the parsley into a food processor, add the baby spinach & blitz. Add cream & softened butter to the mix to form a paste. This paste will keep in a sealed container for two days without losing its vibrant green.

When ready to serve, heat a little cream in a saucepan, add parsley paste to the required consistency, season & serve.

Beetroot & Barley Risotto

100g pearl barley, well rinsed

500ml chicken stock

2 medium beetroot, peeled & coarsely grated

1 medium potato (Maris Piper by preference), peeled & coarsely grated

25g butter

25g grated parmesan

Sea salt flakes

Simmer barley in chicken stock for 40 minutes until it has absorbed the stock & is soft. Check the barley packet for the specific cooking time. Remove from the pan, spread on a tray & allow to cool.

Bring 500ml salted water to the boil, add the grated beetroot & potato & simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor & blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve using the back of a spoon to force the puree through.

When you are ready to serve, warm the barley in the beetroot puree in a saucepan. Add parmesan, butter & check seasoning.