Jun 17, 2013

Barley soup (krupnik?)

I'm still not convinced that I like soups. But I end up making one about once a week. Just for a variety.

And for others who live with me. Because they might like it more. I eat soup only if I know there is a piece of cake coming afterwards. 

I consider a soup a full meal and that's how I always make it, thick with vegetables, grains or legumes. I don't bother with a bowl of broth with a couple of noodles swimming in it. I don't like to drink soups, I eat them.

I was curious about this one. I found it on the Italian website but it looked very familiar. It's a traditional soup of Northern Italy. And a staple dish in my mom's Polish kitchen. I wanted to try the Italian version...for various reasons.

The soup turned out "the best I ever made", Hania said. She is always very suspicious about my soups but always ready to try. Good girl. She asked for a second bowl of my krupnik. Why? Because it was good, well balanced and not overcooked.

The bacon I used was the cooked and lightly smoked type to give just a touch of smokey flavor. The vegetables were put in the right order so they all cooked to their best. The soup wasn't overloaded with barley. It's probably considered a cold weather dish. But I served the soup not-hot, I sprinkled it with fresh green onions and Parmesan and no one even thought about Winter.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano

time: 30 min


  • 40 g ( 2 1/2 Tablespoons) butter 
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) bacon, cooked and lightly smoked, sliced thin and diced
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) pearled barley, washed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 l (4 cups) hot water (with 1 teaspoon salt)
  • salt, pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
chopped green onions
grated Parmesan

  1. Dice all the vegetables. In a medium pot, heat butter on medium/high. Add onions and let them cook till tender, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Add bacon and barley
  2. Pour in a couple of cups of hot salted water, add bay leaves. Let it cook till some water is absorbed (5 min), add more water. Cook for 15 minutes on low/medium heat. 
  3. Add diced potatoes. Cook for 10 more minutes. Check if potatoes are tender, check seasoning. Take it off the heat. Add olive oil, sprinkle with green onions and Parmesan

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