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Barley Minestrone

Yields4 ServingsPrep Time35 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time1 hr 5 mins

This rendition of the classic Italian vegetable and bean soup uses barley instead of pasta. Simmering a piece of the rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano in the soup is a traditional way of adding flavor. When you finish off a wedge of Parmigiano, just stash the rind in the freezer so you always have it on hand when you need it.

Barley Minestrone

 2 tbsp Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
 ¼ cup finely diced pancetta (about 1 ounce)
 2 cups large diced savoy cabbage
 1 cup medium diced yellow onion
 1 cup sliced carrot (1/4 inch thick)
 ¼ cup medium diced celery
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 2 quarts homemade or low-salt chicken broth
 1 tetrapak Colavita Diced Tomatoes
 ½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
 2-inch square parmigiano-reggiano rind (optional)
 Kosher salt
 1 cup rinsed and drained canned kidney beans
 Freshly ground black pepper
 Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano for serving

Heat the oil in a heavy 6-quart or larger pot over medium heat.


Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes ever so slightly golden, 2 to 3 min. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.


Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 min. Add the broth, the tomatoes with their juices, the barley, rosemary, Parmigiano rind (if using), 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water.


Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley and vegetables are tender, about 20 min. Discard the rosemary sprigs and Parmigiano rind.


Stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the grated Parmigiano.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4