Bean and Barley Soup: Minestra di Fagioli
- 3/4 cup dried borlotti beans, soaked for 8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium potato, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 small carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 4 sprigs Italian parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a large stock pot, combine the beans, vegetables, herbs, garlic, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, over very low heat for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, rinse the barley and place in a large saute pan with the pancetta, and pepper to taste. Cover with 1 quart of water and bring to a boil. Add the barley to the bean soup and cook for 1 more hour, until the barley is very tender.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Drizzle individual portions with olive oil.
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