Cuchuco de Cebada

Pearl Barley Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8 to 12


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Cuchuco de Cebada is a typical soup from Nariño; it is very similar to the next recipe, which is prepared with wheat. This is a very flavorful soup with vegetables and small pieces of pork.


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 pound pork meat, cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 pound pork ribs or bones
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup minced green onion*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon color*
  • 1 cup diced yellow or Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 small)
  • 2 cups diced red potatoes (about 7 small)
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoon minced
  • ½ recipe of Hogao del Pacífico
  • 2 to 3 avocados, quartered, for serving


  1. Rinse the barley with plenty of water and soak, covered with water, overnight.
  2. Drain the barley and discard the water. Place the barley in a medium stockpot, with 4 quarts of water, and the pork meat, ribs, onion, green onion, garlic, bay leaves, bouillon cube, salt, pepper, and color. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, peas, and cabbage and simmer for 15 minutes more. (The yellow potatoes will soften to a point where you won’t see much of them, but they will give body to the soup.)
  4. Add the parsley, cilantro, and hogao.
  5. Taste for more salt and serve with the avocado on the side.