German Barley and Sausage Soup (Graupensuppe)

We had a very similar soup on a cold rainy day in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is delicious, warming and filling.


4 slices of bacon, cut into big chunks
14 oz. Polish sausage, cut into bite size chunks
2 T butter, if necessary
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup (2 leeks) chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 small carrots)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk of celery)
1 cup chopped russet potato (peeled)
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish

In a large dutch oven, over medium high heat, cook the bacon and the sausage until browned, about 5 minutes.
Remove and reserve.
If necessary, add 2 tablespoons of butter. (You might also have to remove some of the bacon fat, if it’s too much or if it looks burnt).
Lower the heat to medium and sauté the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the leeks, the carrots, the celery and the potatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the barley and let it cook with the veggies for a minute, stirring constantly.
Season with salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and nutmeg.
Add back the bacon and the sausage.
Add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the barley and the potatoes are cooked.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.