This rich and filling bean and barley soup recipe is from the Saguenay / Lac St. Jean region of Quebec.
Known in Quebec as soupe aux gourgane, the recipe was adapted from a recipe from Julian Armstrong’s Made in Quebec cookbook, a wonderful compendium of French-Canadian recipes.
Ideally, you would make this in August when fava beans are in season – but perfection is the enemy of good enough – so if it’s not August and you’re looking for a robust, peasant-like soup, pop down to the store and buy yourself some frozen fava beans and get cooking!
Peasant Soup with Fava Beans and Barley
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 5 cups water
- 2- 3 cups fava beans
- 7 ounces salt pork or bacon, cut in pieces
- 1 tablespoon dried savoury
- Pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup fresh green or yellow beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Finely chopped parsley and green onion for garnish
Saute onions in the bottom of a large soup pot until translucent about 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add fava beans, salt pork (or bacon), savoury, and pepper. Reduce to low and simmer for one hour.
Add barley and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add celery and carrots, and continue simmering another 30 minutes. Add the green beans at the end, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes,
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in soup bowls garnished with parsley and green onions.