Dinner/ Recipes/ Soup

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet)

31/03/2016 (Last Updated: 05/07/2019)

For those times in life when you NEED a thick, hearty and nourishing soup to set everything right in the world. This Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup is super warming on a cold winter’s night, or make in advance for a lazy dinner after a busy day.

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Sooo many people ask us: ‘What’s your favourite country?’

(Do you guys know how tough that is to answer?? 😛 )

Seriously though, thirty countries down and the decision only becomes harder.

When you make us choose, I guess Vietnam and Japan are both right up there on our list, coming in equal first place for their mouth-watering cuisines and incredible cultures.

I know I know, still not technically a choice there, but at least we narrowed it down, right?!

And yet…

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Deep down inside, I know Slovenia, of all places, is the country that truly stole my heart.

Okay that’s a bit random I know.

But, why Slovenia? 

Well… Imagine jumping off the train into your most idyllic fairy tale landscape, with just two days to explore and see as much as you can.

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Picture yourself, encased in backpacks, strolling along a quiet country road. Endless rolling green fields lie on one side. On the other, immense, majestic mountains reach up into the azure sky, twinkling with snow in the golden sunlight.

THAT is how I remember Slovenia.

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

We spent one breathtaking day exploring the Lake Bled region by bike, cycling our way through its bustling lakeside town. Peddling our way uuuuup and doooown steep alpine roads in the surrounding countryside.

That night we tucked ourselves into a cosy farmhouse homestay. Inside, the huge old wooden building had been transformed into a guesthouse + bar and restaurant, its incredible owners dishing up traditional Slovenian fare at their rusting wooden tables.

That’s where we had our first mouthful of this traditional Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup known as Ričet, and let me just say, a big bowl of veggie soup with soft chewy barley and spicy savoury sausage  was absolutely just what we needed after our action-packed day. 

(Not to mention the complimentary glass (or two) of blueberry brandy known as šnops on the side. 😛 )

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet)

Traditionally this Slovenian soup is prepared with barley, vegetables, and sausage, but you can easily leave out the sausage for a vegetarian/vegan version.

We substituted chorizo for the sausage in our version for an extra spicy hit, but any sausage should do the trick. Bonus points if you can source European/Slovenian sausages.

You can also substitute quinoa for the barley to make this recipe gluten free!

It’s thick, hearty and nourishing, perfect after a busy day or when you want to share a wholesome meal with friends or family.

Super convenient that we made it this week, since it came in very handy after our huge hike this Easter Long Weekend. Instant homemade dinner for the win!

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Love soups? Check out our Albanian White Bean Soup that’s super nourishing in winter yet light enough to enjoy on a summer’s day too. 

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet) - Thick, hearty and nourishing, this soup is packed full of warming flavour and healthy nutrients. It can also be prepared vegetarian or vegan. | wandercooks.com

Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup (Ričet)

For those times in life when you NEED a thick, hearty and nourishing soup to set everything right in the world. This Slovenian Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup is a warming dish for a winter's night, and is just perfect when made in advance for a lazy dinner after a busy weekend.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Slovenian
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 500 g barley soaked overnight
  • 2 x 400 g cans butter beans drained
  • 6 cups water plus extra when boiling
  • 2 chorizo sausages cooked and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 kale leaf roughly chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Soak the barley overnight in a large soup pot. Next day, drain and place on the stove. Add beans and 6 cups water. Cover and boil for 1 hour.
  • Add chorizo, garlic, bay leaves, kale, onion, carrot and zucchini, then bring to the boil.
  • Cook for a further hour or until soup has thickened to a nice consistency and ingredients are tender. Stir occasionally to avoid soup sticking to the pan, and add water gradually if soup becomes too thick.
  • Season with paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Serve with hot crusty bread.

Notes

Tips

  • For a vegan version of this dish, omit the sausage. For a gluten free version, replace barley with quinoa.
  • We recommend making it up a few days in advance for the flavours to really shine. It’ll keep nicely in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, and around 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
 
Adapted from Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristy @ Southern In Law
    01/04/2016 at 10:25 am

    I loveeeeee hearty soup recipes and this one looks SO good! So filling and delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:41 pm

      Us tooooo! Definitely making this one again soon 😀

  • Reply
    Felesha
    31/03/2016 at 10:09 pm

    How comforting does this look?!?!? Can’t wait to try this!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:40 pm

      It’s like a big bowl of comfort especially on a cold night or after a busy day. Add a warm snuggly blanket and you’re set for a cosy night in!

  • Reply
    Cristie | Little Big H
    31/03/2016 at 9:26 pm

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. It looks beautiful and I’m pinning this now so I remember to make it asap.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:39 pm

      Great! Hope you enjoy! Yep it’s really so simple to make, one of those you just quickly chop the ingredients and let the stove do all the work. Plus afterwards the leftovers make for awesome lunches and dinners with zero extra effort.

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    31/03/2016 at 8:23 pm

    I agree with you about Slovenia, it’s so stunning isn’t it! A real fairytale country 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:38 pm

      Absolutely! It was definitely one of the biggest surprises of our trip. I’m not sure what we expected really, but we were just totally blown away by how beautiful it was!

  • Reply
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    31/03/2016 at 7:04 pm

    Now this is comfort food! I would have to make a vegetarian version, but I love the addition of barley.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:37 pm

      Barley is the BEST in soups, there’s nothing like that soft, chewy texture, and even better because it’s completely natural. So easy to make this one vegetarian too, hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    31/03/2016 at 5:03 pm

    Yum, my hubby would love this! Can’t wait to make it for him!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/04/2016 at 12:36 pm

      Oh great, well we’re pretty sure it would go down very nicely with a glass of wine too 🙂

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