This post is dedicated to all my East Coast friends that are braving the miserably cold weather right now. It’s times like these that I’m grateful to be a Californian.
One of my favorite winter meals to make is a big pot of soup. It lasts the whole week, for lunches or dinners, and it tastes even better as the days go by. So when I spotted this Toasted Spelt Soup recipe in Bon Appetit (I know, I’m obsessed), I couldn’t resist. Of course, I replaced the spelt for Farro because I have a ton of it and it’s STILL my favorite grain. But other than that, I stayed pretty true to the recipe and I’m very pleased with the results.
Toasted Farro Soup with Escarole and White Beans (serves 8)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 2 TB olive oil, plus more for serving
- 3 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4 pieces
- 1 cup pearled farro
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 head escarole, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- shaved parmesan (for serving)
In a large food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse onion until finely chopped, then transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with fennel, carrot and celery, placing vegetables in the bowl with onion.
Heat 2 TB oil in a large pot. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Add farro and cook, stirring often, for 3 more minutes.
Add onion, fennel, carrot, celery, and garlic to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened – about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1 minute.
Add broth to pot, bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, until faro is tender – about 70 minutes. Stir escarole and beans into soup and cook until escarole is wilted and beans are warmed through, about 4 minutes.
Serve soup drizzled with olive oil and topped with Parmesan shavings. Cover and refrigerate remainder of soup to keep for up to four days.