Zuppa d’Orzo (Barley Soup)

Recipe: Noel Cimadon | Images: Ashlee DeCaires

½ onion, finely chopped
1 leek, only the white part, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 ham hock
6 cups beef stock
125g barley
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper

Sauté onion, leek, carrot and celery in butter and olive oil until nice and soft (this is called soffritto). Add the bay leaf and ham hock and cook on low heat while continuing to stir for about 10 minutes.

Add the barley and stock and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes halfway through. If you have any Parmesan rinds chuck them in now too; it will improve the flavour a lot and give it a natural saltiness.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and add some finely chopped fresh parsley before serving.

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