Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Zuppa di Farro (Spelt Soup)

This is a great soup that we discovered 2 years ago on a trip to Tuscany. I've been trying to recreate it since then and have tried many versions of this soup. This one I found in Bittman's book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I followed the recipe exact. I don't think I would cut back on the olive oil ... I think that is what gave the soup a really incredible taste. This one would have been a great one to contribute to last month's one dish challenge if I had found it earlier. Unfortunately, it takes a while to prepare but it is largely unattended cooking time.

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 T. minced garlic
1 c. farro, spelt, peeled wheat or barley
1 c. dried white beans (I used borlotti beans), soaked for several hours or overnight
2 c. chopped tomato (canned is fine ... don't bother to drain)
6 c. water or veggie stock, maybe more as needed
1/4 c. chopped parsley leaves
1/4 c. chopped basil
freshly grated parmesan

Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add onion, celery, carrots, a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are glossy and onion softened, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir; add farro, beans, tomato, and stock.

Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so the mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Mine took about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Stir in parsley and basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan.


wirrek said...

Did you use spelt or did you sub barley? It just looks like barley.

Robin said...

I used spelt. Spelt looks like brown barley but it is a bit more chewy when cooked and nuttier tasting, in my opinion.