This very traditional soup is a favorite in my valley. It’s easy to make, delicious to taste and unless you make it on Fat Thursday, I can guarantee that nobody will come stealing the pot from you. The classic recipe asks for Selchkaree, which is the German version of smoked pork ribs, but you can use any type of smoked pork such as slice of ham. If using a crock-pot, sautéing the vegetables will add more flavor. But you can skip that part and just combine all ingredients in the pot, except for the garnish, making sure you use beef broth to get some additional flavoring. Cook on low setting for about 6-8 hours.
1 medium sized yellow onion
1 medium sized carrot
1 celery rib
1 medium sized potato (red, if possible, but any will do)
3-4 oz smoked ham
1 cup barley, washed in cold water
5-6 cups beef broth or water
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 bay leaf
4 Tbsp chives or green onions
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy-set pot over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
Chop carrots and celery and add to the pot to sauté for another 5 minutes.
Chop the potato and add to the pot along with the barley, ham, the broth and bay leaf.
Let simmer for at least one hour, possibly more up to two hours.
Take out ham and when cooled enough to handle, cut into small dice and return to the pot.
Salt and pepper to taste and serve with a sprinkle of finely chopped chives or green onions.