Barley Soup with Sugared Parsnips
1 cup/200g pearl barley
8 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium (400g) potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 bay leaves, halved
3/4 cup milk
Pepper and salt, for seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
2 parsnips, cubed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Chopped fresh mint, for serving
1. Place the barley with 31/2 cups of the stock into the removable crockery bowl. Cover and cook on High 1-11/2 hours or until just tender.
2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat until onion is soft.
3. Add onion mixture to the cooked barley in the removable crockery bowl, stir in remaining stock, carrots, potatoes, celery, bay leaves and milk. Cover with lid and cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4 hours.
4. Just before serving, melt butter in a non-stick pan. Cook parsnip for 1 minute, stir in sugar and cook until parsnip is golden brown and tender.
5. Season soup with salt and pepper, ladle soup into serving bowls and top with parsnip. Sprinkle with mint if desired.