Today Dawn brings us a comforting soup recipe and a beautiful story about her Grandpa.  Having also lost my Papa when I was little, Dawn’s post today made me feel all nostalgic and warm inside – much like eating some of this soup would. – Jenny x

I’ve never gotten to know my grandpa, since he passed when I was 4?  From vague memories, I somehow always imagine my grandpa to be someone eccentric, with magic tricks up his sleeves.  I imagine him smoking his pipe, crushing mint leaves into an ice cold cup of water, then passing it to me and asking me to drink it all down.  “The weather’s hot, it’ll be good for you!” Anyway, if he was the sort of person I imagine him to be, I’d think he’ll cook this hearty vegetable soup for me whenever I’m sick. I imagine him going “ Ah.  Beef.  Beef’s good.  Lots of iron, it’ll make you strong!”.  So yes, I cook this whenever I feel like I’m in need of some iron, or whenever I’m seeking a little nostalgia.  Perhaps it might bring you some good memories too, of your own grandpa?

Grandpa Joe’s Vegetable Soup
Serves 6

1 leek (white part, thinly sliced)
200g beef chunks
1 onion (roughly chopped)
Good bunch of coriander (chopped)
2 stalks celery (thickly sliced)
2.5l or 10 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 turnip (cut into 1cm cubes)
1 carrot (cut into 1cm cubes)
65g or 1/3 cup pearl barley (pre-soaked in cold water for 3 hours)

1. Place beef and stock in a saucepan over low-medium heat and bring to boil.
2. Add pearl barley and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add celery, carrot, leek, turnip, onion, thyme and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper.
4. Partially cover with a lid and simmer, skimming occasionally, for 1 hour, until beef is very tender.
5. Stir in parsley and coriander, season further.
6. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm crusty bread!

- Dawn x