Farro is a mighty ancient whole grain. Once serving as fuel to the Roman empire’s troops, it is definitely worth getting to know. Here, it relaxes beautifully into this delicious and hearty warming vegetable soup as the perfect remedy to a chilly afternoon. The best part? A home full of delightful smells and fantastic leftovers for a mid-week lunch.
Not spelt, and not a wheat berry (though those could be substituted in a pinch), farro is enjoying a renaissance. Though less known today than in centuries gone by – cultivation tapered off with the fall of the Roman empire – it is again becoming easily found… and deservedly so. High in protein, fibre, vitamin B3 and naturally free of fat, sugar, and sodium, this whole grain packs a nutritional punch.
This soup is unreservedly delicious, and after a few minutes prep is very happily left alone save for the occasional stir while the farro slowly cooks and the broth fills your home with smells of Tuscany. Start it early, grab a book, and enjoy a glass of wine while your hearty dinner makes itself. Alla tua salute!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ large onion
- 1 leek
- 1 cup farro
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 3 carrots
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (200g)
- ¼ cup red wine
- 10 cups of low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 stick of rosemary or a sprig of fresh sage
- 2 stalks of kale or swiss chard, chopped/shredded
- 1 cup tinned or soaked white cannelloni beans
- Dice the onion, leek, and tomatoes. Chop the celery and carrots into small pieces. Shred / chop the kale.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion and leeks for 10 minutes.
- Add the farro and stir for 3-4 minutes
- Add the celery and stir while the vegetables sauté and the farro toasts.
- Add the carrots, tomatoes and red wine. Allow the alcohol to cook off, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add 8 cups of stock, the white beans, and the rosemary or sage.
- Simmer, semi-covered, for 45 minutes until the farro has softened.
- Add the kale and beans, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Using a stick blender, give the soup a couple pulses to thicken the stock. Alternatively you could blend 1-2 cups of soup and add back to the pot.
- Season to taste and serve with ancient grain toasts and a glass of bold red wine
Great as leftovers for 2 days, refrigerated. May be jarred and kept frozen, 1 month.