Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Reading & Historic Royal Palaces's online course, A History of Royal Food and Feasting. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds The meals served here at Kew Palace always started with a soup in the first course. This soupe barley, a thick hearty broth, was popular at the time. You will need a good quality beef stock, four pints for four servings. You can make your own by boiling bones, as I have done. Or you can buy a flavoursome stock from your local butcher or even supermarkets. You will also need a handful of barley, about half a pound, a few raisins, a couple of onions, and some salt and pepper. Put the cold stock into a heavy stew pan and to this add the barley. Reduce this by boiling for 45 minutes to an hour on a low heat. And remember to stir regularly.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds Otherwise the barley might stick. Now you can use your stoves at home. But we’ll be using this Georgian charcoal stove. It’s a bit like a barbecue but hotter and doesn’t get choked up with ash. And if you visit these kitchens, you will see a whole range of cookers, including the great range for roasting meat, many ovens for baking, and these stoves for cooking everything else. Whilst the stock is simmering, shred the onions, or you can chop them like I’m doing. And when it’s fully reduced to half its volume, add these and the raisins to the pot. Season the soup to taste using salt and pepper.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds And then, if you want a real Georgian soup, try adding a small dash of cream on the top.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds And finally, serve. Interestingly, in this period, soup was often served to the guests by the male head of the household, but probably not by the King himself. So here we go, soupe barley, a nice easy recipe.

The Georgian Cook-a-long

In this Cook-a-long video, Robin Mitchener from the Historic Kitchens Team at Historic Royal Palaces, shows you how to make ‘soupe barley’, one of the dishes on the menu on 6 February 1789.

Tempted to taste this dish? Why not try making it at home, in the comfort of your own kitchen and let us know how you get on? You can download a PDF of the recipe to accompany this video.

For the keen cooks amongst you (or for those who’d prefer to taste an alternative dish) we’ve provided some additional recipes to choose from in the next Step.

Don’t forget to mark this Step as ‘Complete’ before you move on.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

University of Reading