This recipe happened entirely as a result of me going into a daze in the supermarket and stumbling across the last bundle of half price asparagus - right next to some heavily discounted, lightly wilted spring onions.
I chopped them up with some garlic and chucked them in a saucepan - spring onions and garlic first...
...and then once they'd softened, the asparagus.
Once that had started to break up, I added a small handful of flour and stirred vigorously.
I then added strong stock - two cubes in a kettleful of water - filling the pan most of the way up. Once it came back to the boil, I turned it way down to simmer on low.
The my fear of vegetables kicked in. I'm always convinced a primarily vegetable dish just won't fill me up. I happened to have some barley in the cupboard, and I decided to stick that in. As instructed, I boiled it and rinsed and drained it before adding it to the soup. I left it for the requisite hour and a quarter, by which time it was halfway between soup and risotto. I added a teaspoonful of mustard, because I add mustard to everything, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, because, well, ditto.
It was yummy, and kept well in the fridge for three days although after sitting overnight it really was more like risotto. Barleyotto?