Barley Soup

Zuppa d’Orzo

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Leaves from The Walnut Tree: Cooking of a Lifetime

Leaves from The Walnut Tree

By Ann Taruschio and Franco Taruschio

Published 1993

  • About


  • 200 g/7 oz pearl barley
  • 100 g/ oz slice prosciutto, chopped in fine dice
  • 15 g/½ oz butter
  • 25 ml/1 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2.7 litres/ pt meat stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30 g/1 oz freshly ground Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


    Soak the pearl barley for 2 hours in plenty of cold water.

    In a heavy pan with a lid, fry the carrot, onion and celery in the oil and butter until softened. Add the diced prosciutto and stir in with a wooden spoon. Drain the barley and rinse it, then add the barley to the vegetable and prosciutto mixture, stir for 5 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, put the lid on the pan and cook the soup gently for 1½ hours, stirring regularly. Towards the end of the cooking time, check the seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Just before serving, stir in the Parmesan cheese and parsley.