About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Chick Pea Soup | Main | Broccoli and Egg Barley Soup »

Barley Soup in the Style of Trent

This soup comes from Trentino in the far north of Italy. It’s a region I’ve yet to visit. If this soup is typical of the cuisine, I need to correct that oversight soon.

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I scanned this recipe quickly making sure I had all the ingredients on hand, then while the barley simmered in the soup pot, I chopped the veggies.

As I’ve come to understand the science behind Marcella’s focus on flavor layering, I enjoy contemplating the order these particular ingredients will be put to the heat.

First the onions join the olive oil in a pan put to medium heat. They are softened to a beautiful pale golden color. Then comes a few minutes for the pancetta to add her heady flavor. After that it is rosemary and parsley’s turn to be stirred in for a brief minute and then the heat is turned off.

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When the barley is tender, I prepare to add the rest of the ingredients. I’m about to dump the contents of the sauté into the pot, when my eyes fall on the carton of bullion cubes. I set the pan back down wondering, just how old are these cubes, anyway? I so rarely use them. I can’t even remember when I bought them. Hmmm. Well, I know that the industrial size container came from Sam’s Wholesale. It’s almost half empty and we switched from Sam’s to Costco at least three years ago. Oh my! Not good.

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Our single self-imposed rule is as we began this project -- Follow the Recipe Exactly. No variations without Marcella’s express written permission. It’s Sunday afternoon. I doubt Marcella and Victor will be checking in on Facebook or email. No way am I going to disturb them by telephone while I’m sure they are at this very moment enjoying their own Sunday dinner.

But, the soup is bubbling. What to do? Do I use an old stale bullion cube that might taint the final dish? Do substitute stock? I decided that Marcella would always approve of a decision to avoid using an inferior ingredient. So, before adding any of the other ingredients, I scooped out a cup of cooking liquid and replaced it with a cup of boxed beef stock. To more closely approximate the strength of the bullion cube, I didn’t dilute the stock.

With a sense of relief at having salvaged the recipe, I picked up the pan of onions and dumped it into the pot along with the diced carrot and potato. As it cooked, I tested for salt and found that I needed to add more to compensate for the substitution of stock for bullion.

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Barley Soup in the Style of Trent is a wonderful and hearty soup. I’ll make it again…after I’ve purchased fresh bullion cubes.

Comments (4)

This soup sounds so good! But I will get fresh boullion cubes first!

It looks and sounds delicious Deborah. Complimenti on your save!

Mindy:

good save indeedy!! I would have cried.

Another amazing soup using barley (sounds like a great name for my next pet).

Rah! Rah!

Marcella Hazan:

You can always call me. I am usually at a home, and if not, the voicemail will pick up the message and I will call right back.

Deborah responds:
Marcella, you are too gracious. We love how you are keeping an eye on our progress.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 11, 2010 7:22 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Chick Pea Soup.

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