Tuscan Barley Soup


Tuscan Barley Soup



Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Tuscan Barley Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet or spicy turkey sausage links (casings removed)
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
  • 2 medium parsnips (peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
  • 2 medium zucchini (halved lengthwise and cut into1/2-inch slices)
  • 1 fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
  • 1 medium leek (thinly sliced)
  • One 12-ounce bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard (center stem removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives


  1. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked sausage and reserve.
  2. Add the barley and cook stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, fennel, leeks, chard, cheese rind if using, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes.
  3. Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf, and discard. Season the soup with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage and chopped chives.
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