Zuppa di Farro e Zucca Gialla (Barley and Squash Soup)

December 11, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Tuscan vineyard on a culinary vacation in ItalyA warm, hearty meal for winter, brought to you straight from Tuscany. Our friend Chef Claudio first introduced us to this recipe many years ago and it has remained a staple among our winter soup recipes. The seasonal squash make it perfect for fall and winter, and the barley makes it a deeply nourishing and satisfying dish.

See all our tours in Tuscany. 

View of Tuscan rooftops during a culinary tour of ItalyZuppa di Farro e Zucca Gialla (Barley and Squash Soup)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 mintues
Cook time: 70 minutes
Cook method: Simmer


  • 80 gr barley (or spelt)
  • ½ c. winter squash pulp
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ½ c. peeled crushed tomato
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • hot chicken, beef, or vegetable stock

View of Tuscan olive groves seen on a cooking vacation in ItalyInstructions:

1. Sauté the diced onion in oil until it is tender but not browned.

2. Peel and deseed the squash. Cut the squash pulp into small pieces and add to the pot. Cook 5 minutes.

3. Add the barley, then enough broth to cover. Keep adding broth bit by bit as it evaporates until the barley is cooked, for 1 hour.

4. Mid-way through, after about 30 minutes, add the tomato and the 2 tbsp milk.

5. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top and a wonderful Tuscan red wine.

This recipe pairs wonderfully with a crusty Italian bread, but is also hearty enough to be served on its own.

See an alternate version of this recipe: Butternut Squash and Spelt Soup.

Traditional Tuscan cantuccini on a culinary tour of TuscanyCheck out recipes for more traditional Tuscan dishes. And pair them with wonderful Tuscan wines!

Or, browse more of our blogs featuring what we love about Tuscany:

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