Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meatless Monday: Italian Farro and Bean Soup

I was looking for an excuse to use my giant bag o' Costco farro again, and I stumbled on two different recipes for a farro and bean soup similar to a dish popular in Lucca, Italy. I took a bit of the best from each recipe to whip up my own personal version.

This soup was easy to make and chock full of flavorful and healthy ingredients. It was hearty and filling enough to quiet even the most avid carnivore, and made a perfect dinner when paired with a light arugula salad.

Italian Farro and Bean Soup
adapted from Epicurious and Food Network

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup faro (may substitute wheat berries)
  •  1 (12-ounce) can cannellini or borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen green peas
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch half moons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano

In a 10-inch pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the faro, beans, parsley, and tomato paste, stirring so that the tomato paste is spread throughout the pan. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add water until the mixture is completely covered. Let the liquid come to a boil then lower the heat and let the soup simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add more water if necessary. Add the peas and the carrots, stirring to combine, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, adding more water when necessary to keep the soup from getting to dry.

Garnish, to taste, with basil and Pecorino Romano. Add more water to moisten before reheating any leftovers.



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