January even in Lucca is cold and gelid, I know it's hard to believe but over the last few years the climate has become more like the British weather!
I have decide to look up some local recipes from the Tuscan area, so hope you enjoy them.
It's very typical that every Italian 'mamma' makes a good 'zuppa'. Today I have decided to publish a recipe for Lucchese Soup.It's an ancient recipe of Lucca very unique with different tastes. The two cereals are spelt (farro) and barley(orzo). This combination gives us a harmonious and tasy dish appreciated not only in Lucca but all around Italy.
500g cereal spelt & barley
2 cloves of garlic
3 sage leaves
fresh rosemary (small twig)
150g tin chopped tomato
4-6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
150g smoked bacon
salt & pepper
Wash the cereals under running water (no need to soak) then place in a large pot. Place all the ingredients in except the bacon and onion.Fill with 2 1/2 litres of water and simmer for 1 hr and 10 mins. Fry the chopped onion and bacon with a tablespoon of olive oil add to the soup for the last 10 mins of cooking time.Taste to see if any salt & pepper has to be added.( a vegetable cube can be added) Turn off the heat and let the soup rest for 30 mins.
An added option is to add Borlotti beans.
Spelt (farro) is the most ancient type of wheat, cultivated since the the time of the nomadic herders of Syria and Egypt, also used by the Greeks and Romans.