Recipe: Farro and Kale Soup

The rustic flavors of kale and farro make for a hearty soup. For a complete meal, try with a soft poached egg on top, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.  (serves 8)

Farro and Kale Soup image by Alan Richardson from the book:   Olives and Oranges by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox

  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Medium-coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste, preferably double-concentrate
  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 3 cups Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese for serving
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Cut leek lengthwise in half and rinse well; coarsely chop.  Pulse leek, celery, carrot, onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add chopped vegetables and a generous pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup water and tomato paste, and stir in to dissolve paste.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost evaporated, about 20 minutes.

Add remaining 5 cups water, farro, and kale, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until farro and kale are tender and flavors have blended, 20 to 25 minutes.

Season to taste with salt.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a little grated cheese, and a sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper.

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As always, I recommend using the freshest, purest ingredients available…
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