Barley soup

Zuppa d’Orzo, or Barley Soup, is a traditional Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. Barley, a hearty and nutritious grain, takes center stage in this comforting soup. Originating from the northern regions of Italy, where barley is a staple in local cuisine, Zuppa d’Orzo showcases the country’s dedication to simple yet wholesome dishes. The soup typically features a flavorful broth enriched with vegetables, herbs, and sometimes beans or legumes. Zuppa d’Orzo is a symbol of Italian culinary ingenuity, transforming basic ingredients into a satisfying and nourishing bowl of warmth.


  • Easy

Wine Pairings

  • Not Available

Servings For :

  • 4-6 People


  • Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes of preparation and cooking


  • Inexpensive

Italy Region

  • Trentino-Alto Adige


  • Not Available


  • 1 cup of pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (400g) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1 liter (about 4 cups) of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion, diced carrots, and diced celery. Sauté until the vegetables become tender.
  2. Add the minced garlic to the pot, stirring until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Pour in the rinsed pearl barley, diced tomatoes, and drained cannellini beans (if using). Stir to combine.
  4. Add the vegetable or chicken broth to the pot, along with the bay leaf and chopped fresh thyme.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 1 hour or until the barley is tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Season the soup with salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Once the barley is cooked, remove the bay leaf from the pot.
  8. Ladle the Zuppa d’Orzo into serving bowls.
  9. Garnish each bowl with chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  10. Serve the Zuppa d’Orzo hot, allowing everyone to enjoy the hearty and nourishing flavors of this classic Italian barley soup.
  11. Enjoy this comforting and wholesome dish that pays homage to the rich culinary traditions of northern Italy, where simplicity meets nourishment in a bowl of Zuppa d’Orzo.

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