Toasted Farro Soup With Escarole & White Beans


I am a diehard soup lover, and I am happy eating soup any time of the year, although I change my soups with each season. I prepare my soups with seasonal produce, and depending on if I am planning to serve it at lunch or dinner, I often add healthy grains and occasionally some type of meat. Although I serve my soups hot during colder months, I usually serve my soups just slightly warm or at room temperature in the spring and summer. I first tasted room temperature minestrone at a favorite restaurant in Milan, Italy. During the warm summer months, they served each bowl of vegetable soup thickened with rice at room temperature with a drizzle of really flavorful olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese. I found it amazing just how delicious the soup was and that at room temperature, the vegetables were even more flavorful.

This is a soup I first made late spring using some of my favorite ingredients. We enjoy using farro in many dishes, particularly in soups and salads. Farro is a grain that we eat a lot of when we are at our home in Umbria because farro adds a delicious nutty flavor to everything it is added to. This ancient grain is also an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and some B vitamins. By testing the farro first, you add more flavor and texture to the soup. Escarole is a firm lettuce green popular in Italian cuisine with a slightly bitter taste. Add to that creamy cannellini beans, and you have a hearty, full-flavored soup that does not need meat. To serve this soup, I like it served warm, with a drizzle of good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse black pepper, and some coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Do serve the soup with some crusty Italian bread to sop up every last drop!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2021

Toasted Farro Soup With Escarole & White Beans

Toasted Farro Soup With Escarole & White Beans

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A hearty soup that can be enjoyed year round either warm or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Farro
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch Of Red Chili Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 12 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 Head Escarole, Chopped
  • 1 (15 Ounce) Can Cannellini Beans, Drained & Rinsed

To Serve:

  • Shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

    1. In a heavy stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    2. Add the farro, and cook, stirring continually until the grains take on color, about 4 minutes.
    3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are softened, about 8 minutes.
    4. Add the salt, pepper, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and stir to mix.
    5. Cook another minute, then add the broth to the pot.
    6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the farro is tender to the bite, about 30 minutes.
    7. Add the escarole and beans to the pot and continue to cook until the escarole is wilted, about 5 minutes.
    8. Serve the soup warm in individual bowls, topped with some black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 56g