Last week it was oxtail soup using the beautiful oxtails from Mohr Animal Acres. Then a “Cheater’s Pho Bo” with canned beef broth, canned chicken broth and a rib-eye steak from Mohr also.

Last night was a hit, Barley Soup, the recipe from Johri’s Talvo in St. Moritz (Switzerland). I didn’t have any Bundnerfleisch so it was additional prosciutto that made it into the soup — lucky for us there’s readily available imported prosciutto nearby.

This was a HEARTY soup, but next time I won’t make it as the recipe dictates, as it is quite meat-heavy. Doubling the barley, cutting the meat content in half and upping the beans would work quite well for us.


The recipe as given in Gourmet (Dec 1994 issue).

2 onions, chopped (I used one LARGE red onion)
white and pale green part of 1 large leek, chopped, washed thoroughly and drained
2 carrots, chopped (shoulda used 4 for more Vitamin A!)
1/2 cup chopped peeled celery root or celery (double this next time as well)
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
1/4 pound piece Bundnerfleisch — I used 1/3 pound total prosciutto — bacon or smoked ham hock would be great here too
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (used extra virgin olive oil instead)
1/2 cup pearl barley (used 1 cup)
1/4 cup dried white beans such as Great Northern, picked over (used 2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed)
3 quarts beef broth (used 2 cans beef broth + 1 quart chicken broth — this is my standard formula for a copycat veal-y like broth + additional water to keep it soupy)
1/2 pound (about 4) smoked bratwursts or other small smoked sausages, sliced thin (used 3 Aidell’s chicken sausage and 1 Aidell’s Cajun)
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (omitted completely except for moi — I suggested soymilk or almond milk to the family but they were fine with the soup exactly the way it was

My instructions, since I used canned beans:

In a heavy kettle cook vegetables and prosciutto (and Bundnerfleisch if using) in olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broths and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/4 hours. Add beans and sausages and simmer 15 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add cream at table. Makes about 12 cups.