As beautiful and vibrant to eat as it is to look at!!
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups pearl barley
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
125ml dry vermouth or white wine
4 1/4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked beetroot cubes (not in vinegar)
150ml sour cream, plus more for serving
50g chopped pecans
3 tsp. chopped chives
Gently cook the onions in the oil in a deep, wide saucepan until softened. Stir in the barley and stir for about 2 minutes, then stir in the thyme. Tip in the vermouth and let it bubble up, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
Meanwhile, puree half of the beetroot with half of the sour cream. Stir into the cooked barley along with the remaining cubed beetroot and warm through.
Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the pecans and chives and more sour cream, if using.
Serves 10-16 as part of a feast, or 8-10 if not