Five Bean Soupthe Scotto family
In a colander, combine the legumes and pearl barley. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
In a 6 quart heavy-bottomed stockpot, combine the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and herb bundle, and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the legumes and pearl barley, stir to coat with oil and cook for 1 minute more. Add the 3 quarts water and stir. Cover, bring to a gentle simmer over moderate heat, and cook until the outer shells of the largest beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Add the salt and cook until tender, 15 to 45 minutes more. Stir from time to time to make sure the beans are not sticking to the bottom of the stockpot. (Cooking time will vary according to the size and freshness of the beans.)
To serve, remove the herb bundle and ladle the soup-piping hot into warmed shallow soup bowls. Pass a cruet of extra virgin olive oil, drizzling directly into each bowl. Pass the pepper mill. (The soup, of course, may be reheated several times over a period of several days. It will thicken. Simply thin with water each time you reheat.)
9124319395936048260581cranberry (borlotti) beans0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) dried cranberry (borlotti) beansred lentils0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) dried red lentilsgreen lentils0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) dried green lentilsgreen split peas0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) dried green split peaswhite (navy) beans0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) small white (navy) beans(cannellini or toscanelli)(3 ounces) pearl barley0.5cup1/2 cup (3 ounces) pearl barleyextra virgin olive oil3tablespoon3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilonion11 medium onion, dicedcarrot11 medium carrot, dicedcelery11 rib celery, thinly slicedgarlic cloves22 plump fresh garlic cloves, mixedthymeSeveral springs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, fresh sage leaves and celery leaves, tied in a bundle with cotton twinewater3liter3 quarts (3 liter) waterSea salt Sea salt to tasteExtra virgin olive oil,Extra virgin olive oil, for the tableblack pepper Freshly ground black pepper to taste