Saturday, September 5, 2009

Monday: Radicchio-Barley Soup

Radicchio-barley soup with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Radicchio is a member of the chicory family, like our friend puntarella. Much of the radicchio grown in the US apparently ends up as an accent in pre-packaged salad mixes, but we actually vastly prefer it cooked. Unlike lettuce greens, radicchio is sturdy enough that it won't fall apart when sauteed, braised, or boiled - and its bitter flavor holds up well in starchy dishes, like risotto or this barley soup.

This soup is very simple, but it tastes surprisingly complex:


3 heads radicchio, chopped into strips
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pearl barley
6 cups stock/water
Parmesan, grated finely

Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil, stir in radicchio and sautee until wilted, and then add barley and stock or water and boil until barley is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve with a generous amount of grated Parmesan on top.

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