Farro and Bean Soup

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This farro-and-bean soup, or zuppa di farro, is a meatless—and simpler—version of the famous Abruzzese soup called "Le Virtu", a combination of assorted grains, vegetables and meats, plus farro or dried small pasta. A meal-in-a-bowl, this can be prepared ahead of time.

  • ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups cannel-lini beans or combination of both, soaked overnight
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. each chopped fresh sage and marjoram
  • 2 cups diced canned plum tomatoes
  • 8 cups water or vegetable stock, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup uncooked farro
  • 2 cups chopped cooked greens, optional
  • 2 tsp. salt plus salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preparation

1. Pick over dried chickpeas and/or beans to remove any debris. Rinse well and cover with water to soak overnight. Drain, cover with 5 cups cold water again. Bring to a boil, cook for about 5 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for an hour. Drain.

2. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat, add chopped vegetables and herbs and sauté for 8 minutes. Add chickpeas or beans, tomatoes, water or stock and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, or until chickpeas or beans are tender. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. For creamier soup, purée 1 cup chickpea mixture and add back to pan.

3. Cook farro in separate saucepan in large quantity of boiling, salted water. When al dente, drain and add to soup. Add optional cooked greens. Stir well, and simmer soup 15 minutes more. Stir often to prevent scorching. Ladle into soup bowls and top with olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Wine Suggestions

The full-bodied texture of the chickpeas and farro pairs with a Cabernet Sauvignon. Try Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 6
  • Calories: 400
  • Carbohydrate Content: 51 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 5 mg
  • Fat Content: 16 g
  • Fiber Content: 14 g
  • Protein Content: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 230 mg