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!
Deborah Mele 2021
- 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
- Shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
- In a heavy stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the farro, and cook, stirring continually until the grains take on color, about 4 minutes.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add the salt, pepper, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and stir to mix.
- Cook another minute, then add the broth to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the farro is tender to the bite, about 30 minutes.
- Add the escarole and beans to the pot and continue to cook until the escarole is wilted, about 5 minutes.
- 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