Minestrone with Barley

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 14h 15m

Serves 4

Fruili, the area near the Yugoslavian and Austrian borders, is a gastronomic island with precisely defined features and customs. One requires all the numerous taverns in the area to keep a large pot of minestrone with barley constantly bubbling in a corner of the open fire. Patrons come in at any hour of the day to drink a bottle of wine (and in Fruili the drinking is excellent) accompanied by a bowl of minestrone. Traditional recipes always called for a ham bone to be kept in the pot to enhance the flavor. Today there is a tendency to lighten the dish, but without altering the flavors of old.


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 ounces sausage, crumbled
  • 1/2 ounce prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt
  • 14 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Soak the barley for 12 hours in cold water to cover. Drain, then cook for 45 minutes in boiling, lightly salted water. Blanch the sausage in boiling water and squeeze it to remove all the fat.

In a large saucepan, combine the sausage, prosciutto, celery, onion, potatoes, salt and the water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the barley and cook another 45 minutes, until soft and creamy. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan to each bowl before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 982

nutrition information per serving

381 calories; 13g total fat; 30mg cholesterol; 1162mg sodium; 51g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 17g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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