Tuscan Wheat Berry Soup

March 1, 2010

Tuscan Wheat Berry Soup

Simon Stump, Tucson CSA

7 oz dry barley or wheat berries
7 oz pinto beans (dry or canned), (lentils work in a pinch)
1 small red onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 teaspoon of tomato sauce or paste
olive oil
salt and pepper
Rosemary and Parsley

If using fresh beans, leave them to soak in water for 12 hours in a 3 cups of cold salted water.  Boil them for a half hour.  Reserve remaining liquid.  Once the beans are cooked, place half the beans in a blender with as much water as is needed (if using canned beans, add bean juice from the can), and mix to a smooth homogenous liquid.  Dice the carrot, celery, herbs, and onion to a very tiny dice (do not puree it if using a food processor).  Saute in a generous amount of olive oil.  Once the vegetables have changed color, add tomato sauce.  After about 10 minutes, pour in the pureed and whole beans.  Add salt, pepper, herbs, and barley.  Cook for about an hour, occasionally adding additional bean water (or water) as needed.  Soup is best if once cooked, you remove it from heat and leave for at least an hour.

(Recipe from Lela Cesari Ciampoli, Italian cooking instructor)

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