Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Minestrone Soup a la Farro!

Just a few weeks ago I didn't have a clue what farro was!  Imagine that?!?  In case you have been living in an unenlightened cave like I have, it is a grain with more protein and nutrition than quinoa - and personally I like it a LOT more.  It reminds me of  cross between brown rice, wild rice and barley.  It has a wonderful earthy nutty taste and is quite easy to use in place of barley or rice - as far as I can tell.

I have found several recipes I want to try, but tonight was time to use up some veggies that were going to see the trash soon if I didn't get creative!  So I found a recipe from Mario Batali for a farro minestrone soup and pretty much redid the whole thing with what I had on hand and I think the results were pretty good.  The soup was definitely thick and filling and I could easily have added more broth or water to make it "soupier"!  But I was happy with it thicker.  It made a very hearty meal!

ITALIAN FARRO SOUP

loosely adapted from Mario Batali's Minestra di Faro Lucchese

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 medium shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 cup farro (used Italian pearlized)
1 (12 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup roughly chopped baby carrots
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tsp. King Arthur borsari salt
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
1 quart chicken stock (or broth)
Lemon pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium high heat until hot.Add the shallots, garlic, celery and baby carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks and celery are translucent (the carrots will finish cooking later).  Add the farro, beans, and tomato paste, mixing well.  Add the chicken stock (or broth), bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup gently for about 30 minutes.



While the soup is cooking, in a saute pan, heat another 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Add the chopped zucchini and squash and cook until barely tender.  Add the seasonings to taste and let set until the soup is almost ready.



When the farro has cooked and plumped up absorbing a lot of the liquid, add the cooked squash for a few minutes to heat together. Add more broth if you want a thinner soup.  I like it on the thick side!

Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with basil ribbons and Parmesan cheese.




This is VERY healthy and super filling.



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I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.