It was a very busy holiday season between decorating the house, hosting a big family party and getting all of my Christmas baking completed. When I am busy doing other things, meal planning often gets shoved to the back of my mind, and this is why I love having a couple of hearty soups prepared ahead of time in my freezer. This soup recipe that I worked on in December will be posted in January as I’m trying hard to get recipes scheduled so that I can enjoy the holidays with my family. I have a large family holiday lunch planned before Christmas, our smaller Christmas Day traditional meals with my daughter’s family. Then my son and his family are planning to visit after Christmas. The last thing I want to have to do is be worrying about posting recipes on the blog with a house full of people. The holidays are for family after all, right?
This soup is both hearty and elegant. I start with a base of carrots, onions, celery, and garlic flavored with some diced pancetta. After the veggies are sautéed and soft, I add the chickpeas and broth and cook everything until the flavors meld. The soup is then pureed until it is creamy smooth, and then farro is added to the creamy soup to add texture, a nutty flavor, and a boost of protein and fiber. To garnish this soup, I used my favorite crouton mix sautéed with some garlic and finely diced pancetta. Instead, you could also use a swirl of yogurt or sour cream, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese. This soup has even more flavor the second day after the flavors develop. The soup will thicken overnight in the refrigerator, so you’ll need to thin it out with additional broth when you reheat it. This soup also freezes well, and it is the type of soup I like to have on hand in my freezer for quick meals. If you wanted to make this soup vegetarian, simply eliminate the pancetta!
Deborah Mele 2020
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Diced
- 1 Medium Carrot, Diced
- 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1/3 Cup Diced Pancetta
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Cans Chickpeas, Drained
- 6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Rosemary
- 1 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Thyme
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Pinch of Chili Flakes
- 1 Cup Farro
- Garnish of Choice (See Notes Above)
- Place the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat, and once simmering add the onion, carrot, celery, and pancetta.
- Sauté until tender and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute or two.
- Pour in the broth along with the tomato paste, herbs, and spices, and stir until mixed.
- Add the drained chickpeas, and stir.
- Cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
- Remove the soup to a blender in batches, and puree until very smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot, add the farro, and cook over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the farro is just tender.
- Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve soup in individual bowls with garnish of choice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 133mg Sodium: 285mg Carbohydrates: 32g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 41g