Spring is imminent and, with it, the days are getting a bit warmer and you can gradually turn down the central heating. But what can you do if one day the temperature is a bit cooler than normal but you don’t want to turn up the heating immediately? You could make a lovely hot winter warmer of a soup: its warmth will help to shake off your chilliness, and may even remind you of the charm of winter days that you have pleasantly spent in the company of friends or family. Adding a few winter ingredients that are coming to an end as spring approaches will create a mixture full of taste and personality, and can also offer pleasure to your guests, who won’t fail to be impressed by a distinguished hot dish prepared with imagination and care.
Prepare a mixture of coarsely chopped onion and pancetta with dried tomatoes. Peel the vegetables and cut into large cubes. Fry the mixture, preferably in a terracotta pot with extra virgin olive oil - the bacon and dried tomatoes will create a fabulous aroma in a clay pot! Add the vegetables and fry for ten more minutes. Add water so as to cover everything by two fingers’ worth and then add the spelt and barley. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. When boiling, and the smell from the terracotta pot attracts your attention, stir with a wooden spoon and lower the heat, cover with the lid and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with croutons.
Add enough water to just cover the veg and a little more, and bring to the boil. Then add the spelt and barley and continue to cook at a simmer