Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs
I lived in this canton in Switzerland for about 18 months and I came across this sort of hearty bean & barley soup often. The traditional version uses smoky bacon, eggs & cream. I have made it vegan, you could still use the egg & cream if you wish. Or mix in any vegan creamer or Tofutti style sour cream. Serving size is approximate. Most of the cooking time is inactive, leaving the soup to simmer for a few hours, and does not include soaking the beans & barley ahead of time.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped and rinsed well (white & tender green parts)
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup barley, soaked and drained (about 100g)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 dash liquid smoke
- 1⁄2 cup dried cannellini beans (about 100g)
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- plain soy coffee creamer (about 1/2 cup) (optional)
- chives, finely sliced (fresh or dried )
- Soak the barley and beans separately in large bowls of water for a minimum of 6 hours, overnight works.
- Sauté the onion, leek, carrots and celery in a soup pot with olive oil, over medium heat, until lightly soften & translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- Drain the soaking beans & barley well.
- Add the beans, barley, liquid smoke and bay leaves to the soup pot. Be wary of the liquid smoke, a little goes a long way, a few drops is all I care for.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and water and bring to boil for 5 mins, then simmer over medium-medium low heat for about 2 hours. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking. Add more water or broth if you feel it is getting to thick, but basically it can be left to simmer away.
- Once the beans & barley are cooked thru, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Prior to serving, gently mix in about a tbsp of soy creamer per bowl. Garnish with some chives.
- If you want to include the traditional egg yolk/cream mixture - beat 2 yolks with about 1/3 cup of cream. When ready to serve, put 2 tbsp of this mixture into each of your empty soup bowls, then add the hot barley soup in and mix well.