MINESTRA D’ORZO – Tirolese Barley Soup

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This typical Tirolese soup is made in any season. It is thought to be highly nutritive and is always on hand for children and those with digestive problems. This soup can be kept for a long time in a tightly covered crock.

  • 2 L. cold water
  • 5 1/2 oz. barley grains
  • 3 1/2 oz. speck (smoked prosciutto) or lean smoked bacon
  • 3/4 lb. potatoes, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • beef broth (broth made with good beef bouillon cubes is OK)
  • S & P
Ingredients Test 2
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Soak the barley in cold water for 3-4 hrs., drain and place in a soup pot containing 2 Liters of cold water.
Cut the speck into small sticks, the potatoes into small chunks and all the other vegetables into thin slices. Put them all into the pot with the beef broth and barley. Cook over a med-low flame for about 1 1/2 hrs.
Season to taste with S & P. Serve hot.

OPTIONAL: use vegetable or chicken broth instead of beef; stir in light cream and Parmesan cheese before serving