Sunday, June 20, 2010

Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Soup

I was determined to make another soup after the success of the Giuliano Hazan minestrone last week, which I might say was used for no less than 3 meals during the week. Every skerrick was eaten.

Plus we have the weather for it at the moment.

This soup is unusual in that uses two pots. It is also unusual, for me, in that one of the pots contains barley. I've drunk some beer in my time, but I've never cooked with barley.

The third reason this soup is unusual is that it is not cooked in water, or broth. Water that is used to cook the barley is added in the end, but the main vegetables just cook by themselves for almost an hour (I added a little water following the barley water - I think next time I will add more as it is quite delicious and you do look for it each spoonful).

You can see the first base of onion, carrot and celery on the bottom left. The barley is cooking on the top right (broth and stew are also cooking).

The barley broth was really intriguing. I'd never tasted anything like it. That is what this soup is about, to me. That barley broth.

I don't have any scales, so I used a big bunch of chard. When the soup was done there was fear that it would be "fat camp food". But it didn't taste like fat camp food. It was intriguing. That barley water saw to that.

To me it wasn't as obviously delicious as the minestrone, but we enjoyed it, and were intrigued by it. It was immensely filling. I gave each of us 2 ladles of it, but I think we could have done with less.

I'm going to cook this one again, to make up my mind whether or not it is a keeper. I like the fact it is different. And you don't need broth to make it, if you have run out.

This is from Marcella Cucina.

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