Swiss Barley Soup for Mountain Living

A Quick and Easy Supper Recipe for All the Family

This recipe for a classic Swiss barley soup is an absolute winner and hits the spot every time.  The aromas of this bowl of deliciousness evoke memories of pink cheeks, thick socks and the clunking of loosened ski boots when walking into a log cabin half way down a piste for a re-energising lunch.  It might not look overly indulgent, but believe me when I tell you it is.  Amazing, considering its simplistic list of ingredients.

Pearl barley

Now that we are living the mountain lifestyle and not just holidaying in it, this is a dish that will be frequenting our supper table, with a few little tweaks to keep it interesting.  This time, I added some leftover shredded roast chicken because I had it, next time perhaps some asparagus spears or some cubed Jerusalem artichokes.

Give it a try, your fam will love you for it during these damp winter nights.

Swiss barley soup

Swiss Barley Soup
Serves 6
Prep in 20 minutes, cooks in 80 minutes

Ingredients and suggested quantities:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely diced
1 medium leek, washed and finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
5 rashers of streaky smoked bacon, diced
8 cups of chicken stock
¾ cup pearl barley
2 medium russet potatoes, pealed and diced
2 cups of shredded roast chicken (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup of single cream
½ cup of skimmed milk
Chopped parsley to garnish

1.  Heat the butter and oil in a large sauce pan on a medium heat until bubbling.  Add the onion and leek until softened and translucent, but not browned. Then add the carrots, celery, bay leaf and bacon. Stirring occasionally, leave on the heat for about 10 mins
2.  Add the stock, potato cubes and barley (and chicken if you choose to add it) and simmer for 1 hour
3.  Taste the stock and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the cream and milk and raise the heat a bit, but don’t let it boil or the cream will split
4. Serve in large bowls with a sprinkling of chopped parley on top, 80s style

I would normally support any soup serving with a good hunk of a fresh baguette and cold butter.  However this soup is so rich and filling, you really don’t need anything with it other than good company.

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