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French Ham and Barley Soup

2 tb Salt pork, diced
3 tb Shallots, sliced
1/2 c Pearl barley
1 qt Hot ham stock
3 Egg yolks, beaten
1 c Cream
2 tb Chopped fresh parsley OR 1 c Sauteed sliced mushrooms OR 1/2 c Sliced scallions AND/OR 1/2 c Diced, cooked ham

In the soup pot melt the salt pork, add the shallots and cook until softened; add the barley and shake the pot to roll and coat the barley with the hot fat. Fry 5 minutes until barley starts to color. Add the stock and simmer 1 hr. Optionally bind the soup with the egg yolks and cream or omit. Serve and garnish with one or more of the suggested garnishes.

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