Farro Soup
with Borlotti (Cranberry beans) and Kale
Farro, an ancient grain, is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. for use in soups and salads. When combined with legumes, this nutritious precursor to modern hypridized wheat forms a complete protein. Here is one of The Pasta Shop's favorite ways to use farro:
1c.dried borlotti or cannellini beans
In the morning, start beans soaking in cold water to cover. When you come home, drain beans and rinse well. Add fresh cold water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Add a bay leaf and one clove of garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until tender but not soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Save the cooking liquid.
1c.farro, soaked in cold water to cover for 2 hours
1onion, chopped
1stalk celery, chopped
2cloves garlic, chopped
3oz. pancetta, diced
4T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2c. chopped canned tomatoes
2bay leaves
4sprig fresh thyme
3-4c.chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
7large leaves kale, dinosaur kale or Swiss chard, cut into thin slivers
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated pecorino
Warm the oil in a soup pot and saute the diced pancetta over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, thyme and about 3 cups of chicken stock, vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the farro and stir well. Cover the pot and simmer until the farro is cooked, about 30 to 35 minutes. Keep checking and if the mixture seems dry, add boiling stock or water as needed. Add the beans, 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid, and the slivered kale. Stir well and simmer 15 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper. Stir from time to time, adding stock or water as needed. Adjust seasoning. Serve soup with grated pecorino cheese, chopped parsley or mint, and your favorite extra virgin olive oil for drizzling. Serves 4.
The Pasta Shop is one vender in our local "market", next to our nearest BART (commuter train/subway) station. They have a wide array of high end consumables, along with a very good deli/meat counter with lots of prepared dishes and a great selection of cheeses. This recipe came from the January 2005 Market Hall flyer (Volume 4 / No. 1)