Sunday, February 17, 2013

Buendner Gerste Suppe (Swiss Barley Soup/Grissons)

Honestly, I make this soup almost once a week in the winter. We love it that much.  Traditional to the eastern part of Switzerland known as the Grissons (Buendtnerland, Engadine) which includes the towns of Davos, and Klosters this soup has as many recipes as there are cooks. It is a hearty soup based in a ham stock, filled with leeks, barley, and finely sliced cabbage.  There is nothing better to warm up with while skiing, snow boarding or hiking. My favorite memory of this soup started with a horse and sleigh ride back through the Roseg Valley, Pontresina Switzerland.   Cross Country skiers filled the tracks on the one side and glorious Mountain vistas .. every one of the postcard perfect, surrounded us.  We took the sleigh the whole way back to the Roseg Glacier where there was a mountain restaurant and you guessed it, enjoyed a bowl of this wonderful soup.  The next time the snow flies pull out the soup kettle and warm up with some Buendner Gerste Suppe.
This recipe makes a large pot full. Make it for company, and freeze the rest in quart containers.

  INGREDIENTS


1 cup pearl barley


1 lb ham, smoked (1/2" cubes)
2 quarts water
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 stem celery chopped
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 large leeks thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 oz) beans, white navy or pinto
2 cups Napa cabbage, finely sliced
1 cup cabbage, finely diced
1 teaspoon Maggi* liquid (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS


1. Cover the barley with 2 cups of water and allow to stand for an hour. Pour off the water and repeat.

2. In an 8 quart heavy bottom stock pot fry the bacon for 2 to 3 minutes, not till crisp

3. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and stir until the onion is transparent, about 3 minutes

4. Add the water, chicken stock, white wine, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer

5. Rinse the barley, drain in a sieve and add to the pot

6. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pot

7. Bring the soup to a slow simmer

8. add the diced ham, sliced leeks and the sliced cabbage

9. Finally add the cream and Maggi. Salt and Pepper to taste

10. Allow to simmer gently for 30 minutes

11. This soup is better the next day

12. Serve with crusty bread and a bit of grated parmesan

Servings: 14
Yield: 14 1 cup servings

*Maggi Seasoning has the taste of the herb lovage.  I use it in making salad dressings and seasoning soups. You can make this without it, it won't matter but I love the added flavor. If you do not have chicken stock on hand those new Knorr product, Homestyle Stock Concentrate is perfect. I keep these in my pantry to enhance soups and make sauces, they are just great and come in  beef, chicken, reduced sodium chicken and vegetable. I love 'em all!

*Napa cabbage comes in HUGE heads. Use leftovers for salads with what you don't need for the soup. It is somewhat milder and a bit of a different flavor than regular cabbage but if you cannot find it locally, just use cabbage and cut back 1/2 cup on the amount.






Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast
http://www.swisswoods.com
Debbie Mosimann
The Lititz PA Broad
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