Bean and Barley Soup: Minestra di Fagioli

TOTAL TIME: 10 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 8 hr
Cook: 2 hr
YIELD: 6 servings


  • 3/4 cup dried borlotti beans, soaked for 8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium potato, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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      In a large stock pot, combine the beans, vegetables, herbs, garlic, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, over very low heat for 1 hour.
      Meanwhile, rinse the barley and place in a large saute pan with the pancetta, and pepper to taste. Cover with 1 quart of water and bring to a boil. Add the barley to the bean soup and cook for 1 more hour, until the barley is very tender.
      Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Drizzle individual portions with olive oil.

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