Tuscan Barley Soup

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 sweet or spicy turkey sausage links, casings removed 

1 cup pearled barley 

8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth 

2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 

2 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into1/2-inch slices 

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced 

1 medium leek, thinly sliced 

One 12-ounce bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard, center stem removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces

One 12-ounce bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard, center stem removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces 

1 Parmesan cheese rind, optional 

1 dried bay leaf 

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped chives 

Directions

  1. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked sausage and reserve.
  2. Add the barley and cook stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, fennel, leeks, chard, cheese rind if using, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes.
  3. Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf, and discard. Season the soup with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage and chopped chives.

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