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!


loosely adapted from Mario Batali's Minestra di Faro Lucchese

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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  1. This is one I would try! Looks scrumptious.

    1. It really was!! I think you would like it, Lisa!! And the added bonus is that it's good for you!

  2. Oh this looks so good.
    Guess what, I went and looked up "How To Chiffonade "
    I had seen people do it on cooking shows, but didn't know it had a name.
    I like a thicker soup too.
    My oatmeal that way too, I'm just sayin'

    1. I remember looking that up a few years ago too - it's just a fancy way to say cut in ribbons! LOL

      I like my oatmeal thick too - YUM!! I highly recommend Holly's Oatmeal - the apricot variety. OMG it is amazingly good.