Cranberry Bean and Pearl Barley Soup

  • Serves

    serves 4


In place of barley, some versions of this soup use farro—a term that, in Italy, can refer to spelt, emmer wheat, or einkorn, all early ancestors of wheat.


  • 12 lb. dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight in water, then drained
  • 14 lb. pearl barley
  • 14 lb. pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/2'' cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 12 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Combine beans, barley, pancetta, onions, potatoes, celery, parsley, rosemary, basil, sage, and bay leaf in a large heavy pot and cover with water by 2''. Simmer over medium-low heat until beans and barley are tender and soup is thick, about 2 hours, adding more water if soup gets too thick. Remove bay leaf before serving. Season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper.

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