Zuppa di Farro
Prep time 10 minutes | Cooking time 30 minutes
Farro is an ancient grain rich from Italy, rich in protein and fiber. Additionally, it is a good source of B complex vitamins (essential for vegetarians), contains antioxidant rich lignans and is very low in gluten. Farro is available in the bulk and packaged grocery sections of the co-op.
•1/2 cups pearled farro, rinsed
•1/4 cup olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
•2 carrots, thinly sliced
•1 onion, finely chopped
•1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
•1- 15 oz can cannellini beans
•1- 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
•1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
•1/4 tbsp crushed red pepper
•salt and pepper to taste
•2 strips bacon, chopped (optional)
• In a large pot of boiling, salted water, add the farro and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Reserve 4 cups of the cooking water, then drain the farro in a colander.
• Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and the garlic (add bacon, if using, you can decrease or omit olive oil if you are using bacon) over medium-low heat until the garlic is softened, about 3 minutes. With a wooden spoon, press down on the garlic to release its flavor; do not brown. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the kale and 1/4 cup water, cover the pot and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cannellini beans and their liquid, the diced tomatoes and their juices, the parsley and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat, cover partially and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
• Add the drained farro and 3 cups of the reserved cooking water to the soup; add the final cup of cooking water if desired to thin the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.