Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bean and Barley Soup


2 quarts home-canned "in their own juice" tomatoes (or 2 large cans diced tomatoes)
2 cups cannelini beans, soaked overnight and rinsed (or 1 can)
1/2 cup barley, uncooked
2 T olive oil
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried oregano
1/2 - 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
red wine vinegar
sea salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
grated parmesan cheese

Simmer beans and barley in tomatoes for about an hour. The tomatoes should have plenty of natural liquid - add water if necessary to maintain soup-thin consistency. Meanwhile, you can chop and prepare the veggies--in a cast iron skillet, sauté sausage and vegetables (except garlic) in olive oil over medium heat. Add in a pinch or two of salt to season and lightly brown everything. Add garlic and spices and turn off heat. Add everything to soup in the last 15 minutes of cooking. A flavorful secret, add about 1/4 cup water to the hot pan to scrape up all the bits and add to the soup. Let simmer until everything is tender. Season with a few drops of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley and cheese. Serve with crusty Italian garlic bread: slice 1" pieces of Italian bread, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt and toast for 5-7 minutes. Rub with raw garlic clove while hot.






















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