Serves 6 as a light meal

You can make a version of minestrone all year round, with different combinations of vegetables – though it is good to keep to the base of carrot, onion, celery and courgette. The recipe below is one for late summer/autumn, when the swede and squash are in season together, but in high summer you can replace these with fresh peas, broad beans and green beans – it doesn’t have to be exactly ten vegetables.

‘There’s a lot going on in this soup; there’s nothing half-hearted about it,’ says Black Barn chef Andy Wheeler, who makes small batches of it for sale in the farmshop. ‘Because of the profusion of different vegetables, you want to have a taste of as many as possible in every mouthful, along with a little chicken and chorizo, so try to chop everything, including the meat, as neatly as you can, and quite small – about 1cm (this also allows the small cubes of chicken to cook through quickly).’

  • 3 tablespoons pearled spelt
  • 3 tablespoons pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ a medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Raw meat from 2 small chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 small cooking chorizo (about 100g), chopped
  • ½ a small carrot, chopped
  • ½ a stick of celery, chopped
  • ¼ of a small swede, chopped
  • About 70g butternut squash or pumpkin, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ of a fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1.3 litres good chicken stock (see page 417)
  • 500g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ of a small leek, chopped
  • ½ a small courgette, chopped
  • 2 kale or cabbage leaves, thinly shredded
  • A dash of red wine vinegar
  • ½ a teaspoon of sugar

Credit: A Food For Love