Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh) is a grain originally used to make bread in ancient Egypt (it is also popular in Italian soups, like you’ll see below!) and is a really easy and versatile grain – it takes on the flavors of the foods you cook with or add to it, so you can use it for a ton of dishes, even risottos. Farro is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. And while it is not completely gluten-free, it is so easily digested and so low in gluten, people who are normally gluten-intolerant can often eat farro. (if you are on a strict gluten-free diet, you should talk to your doctor about farro before experimenting with it)
Try it the true Italian way with this delicious soup!
Italian Kale and Farro Soup
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups farro
- Salt to taste
- 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves roughly torn
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until simmering, then add onion and leek. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes, then add garlic and thyme and cook for an additional minute.
Add stock, carrots, celery, farro, and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes, partially covered.
Add kale and tomato and simmer until kale is tender and farro is cooked, 20-25 minutes more. Season soup to taste and serve with grated Parmesan.
Or try it in place of rice, like in this one:
One Pan Wonder – Farro with Tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup faro
- ½ onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a little extra for drizzling
- a few basil leaves, cut or torn into pieces
- grated parmesan to sprinkle on top
Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak while you prepare the other ingredients. Adding each ingredient to the pot. Add salt, pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
Bring uncovered pan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed.
Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan.
What do you think of farro?