There is an Eastern European soup where gherkins are added for a special flavour. So, the recipe idea I am suggesting here is not truly mine.
This is a second recipe, where I am using fermented barley, as it has been a great success in the Fermented Barley Risotto (You can find the method for fermenting barley there). I thought that fermented barley and gherkins combination would work really well together in the soup, and it did!
To those who are in winter now, I strongly recommend to try this comforting soup, which also can be served as a full meal on its own.
Hearty Winter Soup
2 Osso Buco cut beef (or 1.2 kg/2.5lb any beef on a bone)
2 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
2 green celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cup fermented pearl barley
5 slices marinated jalapenos , finely chopped (alternatively, a pinch of cayenne pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh parsley, chopped
*A large pot
1. Cook the meat in about 3.5l/1gal of salted water with bay leaves until almost cooked. Upon boiling, if anything appears on the surface, remove it.
2. Rinse the fermented barley and add to the pot, cook for 30 minutes or until ready.
3. Take out the meat, let it to cool down. Remove the bones and cut the meat into a bite-size pieces, then put back into the pot.
4. Add all the diced vegetables to the pot, simmer until all cooked.
5. In the meantime, grate gherkins and only lightly press to remove excess liquid, crush or mince the garlic, then add all of it to the soup. Let it just to start boiling and the soup is ready. Can be served with fresh parsley and plain yoghurt.
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