Yield: Yields about 3 quarts.
This rendition of the classic Italian vegetable and bean soup uses barley instead of pasta. Simmering a piece of the rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano in the soup is a traditional way of adding flavor. When you finish off a wedge of Parmigiano, just stash the rind in the freezer so you always have it on hand when you need it.
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This is amazing. Instead of using Pancetta, I buy 2-3 hot italian chicken sausages, remove meat from casing, and brown it, remove it and add the vegetables to saut. I also use better than bouillon regular chicken broth (not light), but I use less than what it says for 2 quarts of water (4 tablespoons). Otherwise, it's way too salty. But I have to say this soup is a huge hit in my house with the whole family (2 kids under 4) and especially a hit when I make it for dinner parties.
Adding a tablespoon of red wine vinegar makes it a 5-star recipe! Delicious!
Thanks to the previous reviewers, I was able to tweak this soup to five stars. I also doubled the pancetta and found two full tsp. of kosher salt more appropriate to the volume of ingredients and half gallon of low-salt chicken broth.This is a keeper.
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