Do you have a bag full of parmesan rinds patiently waiting for a recipe to enhance? If not, you can knock on my door and I’ll hand you a few. They are precious little slabs that will make your recipes, particularly Parmesan Barley Soup, pop with flavour.
Jovina Coughlin inspired this Parmesan Barley Soup. She’s my go-to Italian food specialist. Yes, there are many ingredients, but chances are you’ve got them all at hand and can make this recipe presto. It could be renamed Staples Soup, but that wouldn’t get the salivary glands too fired up.
Parmesan Barley Soup
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c onion, finely chopped
- 2 each carrots, celery sticks, thinly sliced
- 6 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/4 t oregano
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 2/3 c barley, soaked covered in water for 1 hour, strained
- 4 c broth, plus 1 cup water
- 2 Parmesan rinds
- 1/4 c Parmesan, grated, plus extra for serving
- 2 T milk
- 1/4 c white wine
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- roasted cherry tomatoes, as garnish
- Italian parsley, as garnish
In a medium-sized pot, heat olive oil on medium-high and sauté onions and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and oregano and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, then mix in vinegar. Add broth, water and strained barley, bring to a boil then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add Parmesan rinds and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese, white wine, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer for a few minutes, or until barley is soft. Remove the Parmesan rinds, add milk and garnish with grated Parmesan, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and parsley. Serves 4-6.
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- 1-2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 t olive oil
- sea salt
Heat oven to 400F.
Spread tomatoes in a roasting pan. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes, shaking pan once at half time. Allow tomatoes to sit an additional 5-10 minutes in oven, until they are soft and wrinkled. Use to garnish soups, sides or main dishes.
- Barley is a healthy grain with a soft, slightly chewy texture and mild taste — a wonderful foil for Parmesan.
- Did you know that Parmesan is so valuable that it’s stored in air-conditioned, humidified bank vaults and used to guarantee loans?
- While simmering, treat yourself to the top 10 Italian Songs of all time.
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I received a Sabatier Santoku knife for review, and the good news is that you, too, can get a Sabatier Santoku knife or a Sabatier 6-inch cleaver by either
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So, do I like the Sabatier Santoku knife? Yes, I do. It’s super sharp, comfortable to hold and the pointy tip is useful for puncturing tomatoes to get your slice started. Check out the Sabatier site for handy knife handling advice.