Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
12 cups (3 L) water
2 chicken stock cubes
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) shelled fresh gourgane or broad beans
7 ounces (200 g) salt pork, cut in large pieces
1 tablespoon (15 mL) dried savory
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) pearl barley, carefully rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped carrots
1/2 cup (125 mL) yellow string beans cut in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Finely chopped green onion
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions just until tender but not browned, 2 to
3 minutes. Add water and stock cubes and bring to a boil. Add gourgane beans, salt pork, savory, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add barley and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add celery and carrots and continue simmering for 25 minutes. Add string beans and cook for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with parsley and green onions.
Notes / conseils
This version of the traditional soup of Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean is a third-generation favourite with food writer Monique Girard-Solomita. She comes from Roberval, on the shores of Lac St-Jean, and was for many years my counterpart in covering food news at Le Journal de Montréal, Montreal’s French tabloid newspaper. Her mother, one of the northern region’s large Gagnon clan, always made the soup, having learned the recipe from her mother. When the big, fat, green gourgane beans come into season each August, Monique gets out her soup pot. “We even enjoy it in hot weather,” she says.
Recipe and picture published with the publisher’s authorization, HarperCollins Canada