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.