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  1. Heat the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, then fry the pancetta / bacon and the leaves from 1 rosemary sprig for 8-10 minutes until crisp. Set aside some of the bacon for a garnish.
  2. Add the onions and celeriac and reduce the heat. Cook gently for 15 minutes until softened. Add the rest of the finely chopped rosemary leaves for the last 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pearl barley and stock and bring to the boil. Season, then simmer for 40 minutes or until the barley is soft and the soup has thickened. Add the kale for the last 8-10 minutes of cooking. Taste and season.
  4. Ladle into bowls, add a spoonful of crème fraiche to each bowl and grate a little nutmeg over to taste. Top with the reserved bacon and serve.
Recipe Notes


To make ahead don’t reserve any bacon in the first step and at the end of step 3 don’t add the kale, let the soup cool, cover and chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheat until piping hot, add the kale and continue as above. You may need to add some extra stock when reheating.

You can make this vegetarian by using veggie stock and omitting the bacon. You can also use any winter greens for variation.

I often use pre-cooked grains for ease, add these in step 3 for the last 15 minutes. Use any grain you like that is larger to add volume.

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