Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Menu

Simmering as I type ...   Kalyn's Kitchen: Recipe for Barley Minestrone with Canadian Bacon, Savoy Cabbage, and Rosemary

Picked up some wonderful whole grain dinner rolls, tossing a salad, slicing up some fruit and almost ready to dig in.   If this tastes as good as it smells this will be a new keeper recipe.

So far any recipe I have tried from Kalyn's Kitchen has been a keeper.  Her recipes are amazing and if you haven't visited her then do yourself a favor and do so.  Lots of good eats from her site.

Barley Minestrone with Canadian Bacon, Savoy Cabbage, and Rosemary

(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe adapted very slightly from Barley Minestrone at Fine Cooking.)

1 T olive oil (plus a little more if needed to saute vegetables)
1/2 cup very finely diced Canadian Bacon (or use a smaller amount of diced pancetta or bacon)
2 cups coarsely diced cabbage (savoy cabbage is best, but regular green cabbage will work)
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
1 cup sliced carrots (use small carrots, or cut slices in half)
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
8 C chicken stock, plus a little more if needed (I used homemade chicken stock, but you can use canned chicken broth)
1 cup water
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1 sprig fresh rosemary (probably optional, but adds a lot of flavor)
small piece of Parmesan rind (probably optional, but adds a lot of flavor)
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Finely chop enough Canadian Bacon to make 1/2 cup (or use a slightly smaller amount of pancetta or regular bacon if you don't care about the saturated fat.) Heat 1 T olive oil in heavy soup pot, add Canadian Bacon and saute over medium heat until it just starts to crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

While Canadian Bacon cooks, chop the cabbage, onions, celery, and slice the carrots. (If you're not a fast chopper, you might want to do that before you start to cook the bacon.) When Canadian Bacon is starting to crisp, add the vegetables and minced garlic to the soup pot and saute for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are starting to soften. You may need to add a little more olive oil, depending on your pan.

While vegetables are cooking, rinse the barley, cut a chunk of Parmesan rind, and cut a small sprig of rosemary. When vegetables are partially soft, add chicken stock, water, diced tomatoes with juice, barley, rosemary sprig, Parmesan rind, and about 1/2 tsp. of salt. Let the soup cook at a low simmer until the barley is soft, about 30-40 minutes. (I like the barley to be fairly soft, but taste to see when it seems done enough to you.)

While soup simmers, put 1 can red kidney beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. When the barley is done, remove the Parmesan rind and rosemary and discard. (If the soup seems too thick, you can add a little more chicken stock at this point.) Add kidney beans, season soup to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and simmer 5-10 minutes more. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for each person to add to their soup. This soup freezes well if you can manage to have any left.

Minestrone is a traditional Italian soup made from whatever vegetables were left in the fridge. Other things you could add or substitute in this recipe include green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, kale, or swiss chard. You can also use small pasta instead of the barley.

The verdict ..... its a KEEPER!


  1. I made a soup with barley yesterday that includes lentils, chickpeas, spinach and salsa. Delicious and healthy! Will be sharing the recipe very soon. I love soup! Blessings for a beautiful day. Tammy

  2. That sounds lovely i like to make soup in the winter months its so warming. enjoy the rest of your week, dee x