Cafe Mokha's chunky vegetable and barley soup

Photo: Gregor Richardson
Photo: Gregor Richardson
Ask a Chef reveals the secrets of those superb dishes you ate in cafes and restaurants and wanted to try yourself.

Cafe Mokha's chunky vegetable and barley soup

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 leeks, washed, split in two and sliced
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 medium potatoes, peeled and washed
Italian parsley, roughly chopped
3 cups baby spinach, chopped (optional)

Optional garnish
crusty bread

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrot, leek, garlic and celery to the saucepan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the bay leaf, broth and barley; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until the barley is just tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Grate the washed and peeled potato directly into the pot. Stir and simmer for a further 10 to 20 minutes or until the potato is tender. Stir in the spinach if using.

Serve with crusty bread, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add an optional dollop of aioli or sprinkle of parmesan on the top.

Recipe requested by Margaret Shaw, of Mosgiel. Recipe provided by Cafe Mokha, Dunedin.

If you have enjoyed a dish in an Otago cafe or restaurant and would like the recipe, write to Ask a Chef, Features, Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, Dunedin, or email, including your name, address and a daytime telephone number, and we will request it.

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