Yeah, There’s Paula on my Left Arm.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: originally it was Flo on the left, but, I guess, the lads at the seaside made it more state-side friendly with Paula.

Mike and Paul, a couple of friends of ours, run a small walking holiday company. In summer they offer walking holidays in the ‘winter ski resorts’ of ‘Chamonix‘ and ‘the Dolomites‘. On their holidays in the French Alps, Paula does the all the cooking so her recipe book is bulging. I’ve taken a few of her favourites to share.

One of the most famous dishes of the Dolomites is barley soup. It is always on the menu in alpine huts in which Mike and Paula make lunchtime stops during their walking holidays in Italy.

When out walking in the UK, or out skiing, Mike and Paula recommend taking a flask of barley soup, it is always so warming, and it’s great to have whilst outside. This soup is cheap to make but is so wholesome and delicious. Mike and Paula hope you enjoy it as much as they do.

Ingredients for Barley Soup.

  • 1 Onion, chopped.
  • 1 Carrot, chopped.
  • 2 sticks Celery, chopped.
  • 1 medium Potato, chopped.
  • 100 gram Smoked Bacon, chopped, optional for veggies.
  • 100 gram Pearl Barley.
  • 2 litre Vegetable Stock, cube is fine.
  • knob of Butter.
  • few sprigs fresh Thyme.

How to Make Barley Soup.

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, gently fry the onion until soft but not brown.
  2. Add the carrot, celery and barley and fry for 3 mins.
  3. Add the stock and thyme; leaves stripped from the stalks.
  4. Simmer gently for an hour.
  5. Add the bacon and potatoes.
  6. Bring back to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Check that the barley is cooked through and season to taste.

Remember to take a flask of this delicious barley soup with you if you’re going out walking or skiing.

pop trivia: back in 1961 ‘Dion’ had a hit with ‘The Wanderer‘; since then it has been covered by many artists. In 1964, ‘The Beach Boys’ included ‘The Wanderer’ on their album ‘Beach Boys Concert’. They changed most of the girls names from the original. The tune is a favourite with fans of Bolton Wanderers FC.

For more of Paula’s scrumptious recipes have a look at her online Chalet Cookbook.