Servings: 4

Weight Watcher Smart Points: 16

Preparation Time: 0 Minutes

Cooking Time: 0 Minutes

Ready In: 60 Minutes


  • 200g (8 oz) barley
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • More olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • A small chunk of pancetta, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 liters (2 quarts) water or broth, plus more water as needed


  1. Begin by sautéing a soffritto of onion, carrot, celery and, if you like, a little pancetta in olive oil, seasoning as you like and taking care not to let them brown.When the vegetables have softened, add your barley
  2. Allow the barley to insaporire as you would for a risotto, then add water or broth to cover generously
  3. (NB: Barley absorbs a lot of liquid as it cooks, so you will probably need to top it up with more water; check the pot from time to time.) Simmer covered for 45 minutes or until tender, stirring from time to time and adding water or broth as needed
  4. The result should be a very thick soup, almost a porridge, but not entirely dry.Serve immediately, topped with un filo d'olio
  5. Have some grated cheese on the side for those who like it.If using a pressure cooker, bring up to pressure, lower the heat to a minimum and cook for 15 minutes, then release the pressure
  6. When you open the cooker, check for liquid: if it has been entirely absorbed, add more water or broth and let simmer for a few minutes more
  7. If there is too much liquid (less likely, given barley's aborptive qualities) then just let is simmer until you have reached the proper consistency.

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