- 250g cherry vine tomatoes
- 2 leeks
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- A handful of thyme, leaves only
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 100g kale
- 150g pearl barley
- ½ x 20cl soya cream
- 1 lemon
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 600ml boiling water
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 5, and line a roasting tin with baking paper. Halve the cherry tomatoes and scatter them, cut-side up, into the lined roasting tin. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and pepper. Slide the tomatoes into the oven and roast for 20 mins, then set aside.
While the tomatoes roast, trim the roots and top 3cm off the tops of the leeks. Slice a cross in the tops and open them out so you can rinse out any grit. Finely slice the leeks. Peel the onions and finely chop them. Peel the garlic cloves and crush or finely chop them. Pick the thyme leaves off their sprigs.
Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large pan and warm to a medium temperature. Slide in the chopped leeks, onions, garlic and thyme. Sprinkle in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till softened.
Meanwhile, crumble the veg stock cube into a heatproof jug. Pour over 600ml boiling water and stir to dissolve the stock.
Tip the pearl barley into the pan and stir well. Cover the barley and veg with the hot stock. Return to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
While the orzotto is cooking, strip the kale leaves away from their woody stalks. Chop the kale leaves into small pieces.
After 20 mins, the barley should be tender, with a slight bite, and most of the stock has been absorbed. Stir through the kale leaves and cook for a further 2–3 mins, till tender.
Stir the roasted tomatoes through the orzotto. Pour in half the carton of soya cream. Grate in the lemon zest. Stir well and warm the cream through for 1 min. Have a taste of the barley and add more salt and pepper if needed
Ladle the orzotto into bowls. Serve with wedges of lemon on the side.
The cream that keeps on giving
Use your leftover soya cream to swirl through garlicky golden fried mushrooms before piling onto thick slices of toast. Truly a breakfast of champions.