On Thursday I got braces. Yes, I’m now one of a growing number of adults taking the plunge and getting their teeth fixed. I started with Invisalign aligners for over a year, and now have switched to braces for a few months (hopefully) to finish off and get the best result. Overall it has been a fairly easy process but I have to say, no one prepared me for how much these would hurt! OW! So for the past couple of days I have had to eat soft foods. For me this conjures up images of pablum and mashed potato. Nice, but not very interesting. I had this craving for something savoury and hot, and remembered some lamb soup bones in the freezer and a bag of pearl barley in the pantry. This was so easy to make in the pressure cooker!
Roast some meaty bones ( I used lamb but beef would do as well) with a little salt in a 200 oven for half an hour. Add to pressure cooker with a cup of washed pearl barley, some celery tops, a couple of bay leaves, and a washed, quartered onion. Leave the skin on the onion if it’s a good clean one with no mould, it gives added richness to the soup’s colour! Cover with water and pressure cook for half an hour on high. Let the pressure down and remove the meat (it should be falling off the bone by now!) Add three carrots and a stick or two of celery, all finely diced. Bring the pressure up again for five minutes. If you haven’t got a pressure cooker it should take about an hour and a half to cook the meat and barley, and fifteen minutes after you add the veggies.
I love the way pressure cooking plumps and tenderises the barley. Australian barley is not as good as the one I remember from Canada; I don’t think it is polished quite as much (probably a good thing nutritionally.) But cooked this way it’s creaminess is really mwaah! If you haven’t got braces this would be great contrasted with some buttery toasted sourdough bread.