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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.

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