Tuscan Barley Soup with Turkey Sausage

IMG_1589Tuscan Barley Soup with Turkey Sausage is a Manning Wellness Clinic favorite! It’s thick and slightly creamy, but there is no cream in it! You can use either pearl barley or for some added nutrition, hulled barley. But keep in mind that the hulled barley needs about 90 minutes to cook thoroughly.  I think it also makes the soup a little thicker. Let us know if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy!
Tuscan Barley Soup
Original Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, with changes by Manning Wellness Clinic, Dallas, Texas.

Total Time:
1 hr
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:4 to 6 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 sweet or spicy turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 cup pearled barley
8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
4 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into1/2-inch slices
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced (or 1/2 diced onion is fine too)
One 12-ounce bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard, center stem removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces. Slice the center stems.
1 Parmesan cheese rind, optional
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a 5-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked sausage and reserve.

Add the barley and cook stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, chard center stems, fennel, leeks,cheese rind if using, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 35 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, add zucchini and chard leaves. Cook approx another 7 minutes until zucchini is cooked to your liking.

Remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf, and discard. Season the soup with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage. Shredded parmesan also makes a yummy topping.

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