Sausage, Fennel & Barley Soup

Sometimes you have those days where you really just don’t want to leave the house, which is how I felt this past Monday after a long day of work. I knew I had food in my pantry and fridge, but wasn’t really sure if I could make a meal out of it. So I channeled my inner Chopped star and whipped up what is arguably the best soup I’ve ever made.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and slice thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking barley (Trader Joe’s has a great 10 minute barley)
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lb. of kielbasa (sliced into bite size pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Parmesan rind (a few inches long)
  • Grated Parmesan for serving
Fennel, onions, cannelloni beans, red chili flakes, barley, salt and carrots sautéing


  1. Drizzle the olive oil in a large pot on medium. Add the fennel, onion, carrot, red chili flakes and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the quick cooking barley and cannellini beans and stir for a minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, 2 cups of cold water, kielbasa, Parmesan rind and dried thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, drop to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the kielbasa is cooked through and the carrots have lost their bite.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan, remove the rind in the pot and serve hot.



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