- 200g pack bacon lardons or rashers
Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…
- 2 onions
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 4 medium carrots
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 3 celery sticks
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig rosemary and thyme
Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…
- 30g pack dried porcini or dried mixed wild mushrooms
- 1 glass white wine
- 1½ l chicken stock
- 175g pearl barley, well rinsed
- 1 small head spring greens or chunk of Savoy cabbage
Spring greens are the first cabbages of the year. They have fresh, loose heads without the hard…
- Parmesan or any strong hard cheese, grated, to serve
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
Put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Sizzle the lardons or bacon for 10 mins until golden, stirring now and then. While they cook, chop the onions, carrots and celery into smallish pieces. When the bacon is ready, stir in the veg, garlic and herbs, cover and gently cook for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, put the mushrooms into a jug, then fill up to the 600ml mark with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 mins.
Lift the mushrooms out of their juice with a slotted spoon and roughly chop. Turn up the heat under the pan, add the mushrooms, fry for 1 min, then pour in the wine. Let it evaporate right down, then pour the liquid from the mushroom jug into the pan, avoiding the last drops, as they can be gritty. Add the stock and barley. Simmer for 40 mins until the barley is tender. Lift out the thyme and rosemary stalks. Can be made up to 2 days ahead or frozen for up to 1 month. If you make ahead, the soup will need loosening with a little more stock as the barley will thicken it over time.
When ready to serve, finely shred the greens and simmer in the soup for 5 mins until tender. Season to taste, then serve with cheese for sprinkling over the top, crusty bread and buttter.