Friday, July 20, 2012

Barley soup

Barley soup in production
Portland, Oregon, July 19, 2012—
SOMEWHERE AMONG THESE metaphorical pages there must be a comment or two about barley, a favorite grain of mine. I remember liking the taste of it in the late 1940s, when I occasionally munched on a small handful of rolled barley that we bought by the sack to feed to the pigs. In spite of the pigs, I associate the flavor of barley with cleanliness, almost with vanilla — sweet, clear, calm, spacious.

Lindsey found a book the other day: Zuppe: Soups from the kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project, by our friend Mona Talbott, who presided over the Academy kitchen for a number of years. Last night she and Giovanna made this Minestra di zucchine, orzo e bieta: zucchini, barley and chard soup, involving zucchini with their flowers, a couple of small onions and a clove of garlic, olive oil and Parmesan, and yesterday's friend marjoram, yes yes. It was delicious, a perfect summer soup.

No need for a green salad after this leafy minestra: let's have some fine cheeses instead!
Cheap Pinot grigio

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