- 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.
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.