45 minutes

well rinsed whole barley (or pearl barley), 1/2 cup
chicken or vegeratian broth, 2 cups
water, 3 cups
olive oil
onion, 1/2 large (of about 6 oz) and finely chopped
celery ribbed, 1 finely chopped
carrot, 1 chopped
potato, 1 peeled and diced
rosemary, 1 small sprig
sage, 1 leaf
fresh marjoram, 1 small sprig
fine sea salt
freshly milled pepper
cooked canario or white beans, 1 cup
minced parsley, 1 tbsp
freshly grated Montasio cheese (another hard cheese of your choice)


Warm up a skillet over medium heat. Toast barley, shaking the skillet or stirring the barley using a wooden spoon to prevent it from getting scorched. The popping starts after a short while. Keep shaking the skillet or stirring the barley until the popping is over.
Pour broth, water and barley in a soup pot. Bring to a boil and cook, covered with a lid, for half an hour. In the meantime, put onion, celery and carrot in a warmed-up, oiled skillet. Cook on medium-low heat for about ten minutes. Empty into the pot and add the herbs. Add water, to reach the desired consistency. Bring back to a boil and cook, covered, for half an hour, till the barley and vegetables are soft. Remove the sage leaf and the two sprigs. Add beans and parsley then cook for another couple of minutes until the beans are heated. Serve hot with grated cheese sprinkled on each bowl.

Thanks to: Briciole