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.