I love leeks. I was searching for a leek soup and all I could find were leek and potato cream soups. So I improvised and was amazed by the results. The sausage gives it a ton of flavor and the texture of the barley is wonderful. You will love it if you are a fan of the Italian wedding soups.
- Chop the onion and sauté in the vegetable oil until tender (about 2-3 min).
- Meanwhile wash well and cut the leeks into small rounds. Discard the very rough tips of the green part.
- Thinly chop the garlic.
- Add the leeks and garlic to the onions and cook for 10 more min or until soft.
- In a separate pan brown the Italian sausage breaking it into small pieces.
- Add the sausage to the leek mixture and cook for 2 more min, stirring to combine the flavors.
- Add 1 quart of water to the pot and when it starts boiling add the stock cubes.
- Add the barley and cook according to the package instructions. Usually takes 45 minutes.
- At the end of the cooking you can sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese. Season with salt if necessary.
- The soup thickens on its own because of the starch in the barley. But If you like your soups thicker you can use 1tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp of COLD water and add it at the end of the cooking. Slowly stir for 2 minutes.
Wow!! I can't say enough good things about this soup. Full of delightful leek flavor, and the sausage and barley are a unique touch that suit it perfectly. I would honestly have to say that this is going to be one of my favorites of the year! I wouldn't change a thing. Made for Spring PAC 2009. Thanks for posting this winner!