Bacon, chestnut and barley soup

Bacon, chestnut and barley soup

Zuppa di orzo, castagne e pancetta

By
From
Venice
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Barley and chestnuts were staple winter foods at one time as they could be kept for months, often saving people from famine across Europe. Both, in my opinion, need a bit of a kick with flavour. In the Veneto you would be able to add the end of a leg of prosciutto but we have replaced that with bacon. With the addition of a Parmesan rind this becomes a flavourful, creamy, risotto-like soup that will bring comfort on the chilliest of days.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15g butter
3 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
5 rashers streaky unsmoked bacon, finely chopped
1 quantity Soffrito
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1 long sprig rosemary
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres Rita's chicken stock
or 1.5 litres Vegetable stock
1 parmesan rind
100g cooked chestnuts
150g pearl barley
30g parmesan, finely grated

Method

  1. Heat the butter and oil over a medium heat in a large heavy-based saucepan and fry the bacon, Soffritto, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and seasoning for 10–15 minutes until the vegetables start to soften and become translucent.
  2. Add the stock and Parmesan rind to the pan, increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring through. Crumble in half of the chestnuts and add the pearl barley. When the soup is spluttering reduce the heat to a simmer so that is bubbles gently. Stir every now and again for around 25 minutes or until the barley is soft, adding more stock or hot water if necessary. Serve in warm bowls scattered with the remaining crumbled chestnuts, a swirl of oil, a little black pepper and the Parmesan.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again