farro and vegetable soup

Sheila and I are seriously on the clone train lately. First with the “Mexican” food and now with soup?! We haven’t even been talking.

Hey Sheila, are we still friends?

This soup is one of my favorite things I’ve made in a LONG time. And the fact that I made up the recipe myself is even more exciting. Brushing ma shoulders off.

Of course when I was making it, Kelly and Meghan both (separately) asked “Is that Sheila’s buffalo chicken soup?!? That looked so good!”

Um no. (Although I agree with them.) This is crazytown healthy pot full of everything wanting it to be fall right now soup. Quit stealing my thunder, Sheila.

Moving on. Remember that time I was an insufferable know it all?

Oh yeah wait, I still am. Well the reason I made this soup in the first place is because I was working on another batch of sourdough, and after basically professing my love to Annie for her crystal clear instructions I thought I had them memorized.

Note: trying to add 4 cups of flour to dough when you’re only supposed to add 2 is tricky business.

I didn’t quite get the open crumb I was looking for. And what do we do with dense bread? We slather it in olive oil, toast it up real nice and dunk it into soup. Problem solved.

Farro and Vegetable Soup

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 leek, diced and rinsed

2-3 celery stalks, diced

1/4 yellow onion, diced

2-3 tbs olive oil

2-3 tbs tomato paste

1 cup pearl farro*

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 box low sodium chicken stock

1-2 tsp dried oregano

1-2 tsp parsley flakes

1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups kale

6-8 small potatoes

Parmesan cheese

Begin to cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. I used salt potatoes from the ‘Cuse, but Yukon golds or red potatoes would be good, too. Cook until a knife is easily inserted but the potato doesn’t slide off. Set aside.

Prepare your mirepoix (yeah, I know stuff): carrots, onion, celery and leek. It’s easiest to clean the leek if you dice it up first and then put it all in a bowl of water to rinse any grit.

Place olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add your mirepoix. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and let everything cook together for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add farro and garlic, and let both toast for 2-3 minutes or until you can smell the garlic. Add your chicken stock.

I prefer more of a stew consistency so I only used one box of stock, but if you’re big on the broth I recommend adding 1 1/2 or 2 boxes. The farro absorbs a lot of it. Add the oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Stir everything together.

Cook for another 5-10 minutes, then add the potatoes and kale. I broke up the kale a little bit so the pieces weren’t so large, and cut the potatoes into bite sized chunks.

Continue to simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes or so, or until the farro is cooked through. It should still have some bite to it, like al dente pasta. You could use pasta or rice.  You could also add any different vegetables you like, as well as some kind of meat, like chicken or sausage.

*Note about the farro: I bought the Italian pearled kind. I think this means the outer casing has been removed and it cooks faster- similarly to rice or quinoa. If you buy another type you may have to soak it or cook it ahead of time.

Top with Parmesan cheese and reconditioned toast, and you’re golden.

I owe you something with chocolate ASAP. Sheila, don’t copy me.


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