Serves 6-8, 15 minutes preparation, 2-8 hours cooking

A comforting winter classic that is ideal as a Burns Supper starter as you cook it for 6-8 hours in the slow cooker leaving you free to get on with the rest of your preparation. 


  • 250g/8oz carrots, peeled, diced
  • 250g/8oz turnips, diced
  • 2 onions, peeled, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 75-125g/3-4oz pearl barley
  • 125g/4oz dried peas, soaked in water for 4-5 hours, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.3litres/4 pints lamb or mutton stock


  1. Heat all of the ingredients in a large saucepan until boiling.
  2. If cooking on the hob, reduce the heat and simmer gently for a 2-3 hours, or until the peas and pearl barley are soft. If using a slow cooker, once it comes to the boil transfer the soup to the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours until the barley and peas are soft.
  3. Once cooked through, season to taste with salt and pepper then serve with warm crusty bread.

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