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Minestrone with Kale and Farro
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I have never tried this, but from what I have read, it is delicous and FULLY packed with nutrition!

S. Chokel

Serves/Makes:8 or more

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 bunch kale or dark chard, stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 14 oz (392 grm). can plum tomatoes with juice
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped fine
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 14 oz (392 grm). cans chicken broth or 4 cups (950 ml) to 6 cups (1425 ml) homemade
  • Rind from 1/2 pound or more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional
  • 2 cups (475 ml) dried cannellini, white pinto beans or dried navy beans, soaked, covered by at least 4 inches of water overnight or 3 14 oz (392 grm). cans beans)
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 cup (225 ml) farro, simmered in water to cover until just tender, about 45 minutes, drained
  • 1 cup (225 ml) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Put olive oil in large heavy skillet or Dutch oven with onions, garlic, carrot and celery.
  • Cook slowly, covered, for 25 minutes. Cook slowly 15 minutes more. Remove lid.
  • Raise heat slightly.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, till lightly browned, about 10 minutes more.
  • Transfer vegetable mixture, adding kale and tomatoes, to soup kettle.
  • Add rosemary, sage, parsley and bay leaves.
  • Add potato, beans and ham hock.
  • Add chicken broth and water to cover by about an inch.
  • Add the cheese rind.
  • Cover partially and cook at a very low boil for at least 3 hours.
  • If necessary, you can stop the cooking at any time and resume it later.
  • Cook until it is soupy thick and beans are tender but not collapsing. Be prepared to add liquid if needed.
  • Remove cheese rind.
  • Puree 4 cups (950 ml) or more of the soup and return to the pot.
  • Stir in cooked farro.
  • Stir in cheese or pass separately.
  • Don't forget to pass olive oil for drizzling and a peppermill.
Farro: This is a type of hard wheat known as 'spelt' in English. It has been grown and used in Italy since Roman times and is now mostly grown in Lazio, Umbria and Abruzzo. A famous wedding soup of these regions is called 'Confarrotio'.

If I cannot find Farro, I might try bulger or barley.

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