This is a great recipe for using up broccoli stalks, which are often thrown away. You can use any other left over leafy vegetables such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, spinach or Kale to create a lovely wholesome soup.
Put the potatoes, onion, carrots, pearl barley or lentils in a large pan and cover with water.
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli stalks and fennel and continue to cook until all the vegetables are just tender.
Take off the heat and allow to cool a little before pouring into a blender and pureeing until smooth. Taste and season.
Pour into warm bowls and add little sour cream or crème fraiche, swirl into the soup and add a few sprigs of herb such as tarragon.