Tuscan Bean and Farro Soup.

February 22, 2010

I miss meal planning. I miss routine. It has taken a few months to get into a rhythm with the baby and all. (Have I mentioned she is a very loud squawker?) But we are getting there. Meal Planning Monday shall return.

In the meantime, we have been living off a lot of soups and big salads (thanks to many of your delicious recommendations). This soup here (or slight variations of it) has been made almost once a week in our house this winter. We never seem to tire of it. It is so delicious, healthy, and uses up vegetables from the garden that might not otherwise get eaten. It is also a perfect way to eat Rancho Gordo beans, which we have been obsessed with for about a year now. Seriously, if you haven't discovered Rancho Gordo, do yourself a favor and go to their site and buy some. You have never tasted beans this delicious.

Tuscan Farro and Bean Soup

from Gourmet, August 2006 (R.I.P.)

1 cup dried borlotti or cranberry beans
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
10 cups water
1 large tomato (1/2 lb), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup whole-grain farro
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3-4 cups chopped greens (chard, beet greens, kale, etc.) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pick over and rinse beans. Soak in cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Drain well.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, drained beans, tomato, parsley, sage, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered, until beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Discard thyme sprigs, then blend mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (I often skip this step because I like the texture of the Rancho Gordo beans so much), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Add farro and salt, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until farro is tender (it will be chewy like barley), about 30 minutes. If using greens, add to pot and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Stir in pepper and serve drizzled with additional oil.


  1. Yum..... I am loving beans right now too.

    I checked your backlog for ideas on cute maternity clothes and found a cute website ASOS. Gladly, H&M just started their new maternity line (just in time!!) and I've also got some bands. Not that I'm showing yet, but...... :)

  2. yeah!! weekly meal planning is coming back. i have missed your ideas. we have been making this delicious chicken soup once a week this winter. it's amazing. i use whole milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2.


  3. I wish I was organized enough for meal planning and I don't even have kids yet! I tend to just wander around 5 different grocery stores a week, spend way too much money, and make the stuff I grew up with, which is not so healthy. I look forward to reading your meal plans and stealing them! :)

  4. Ooh! Farro! one of the grains i have neglected in my recent tour of weird but good for you grains...will definitely be giving this a try!

    And the strangest thing--when I posted those photos from unusually fine, i thought of you---don't ask me why?! just knew you'd be into them. maybe it was the striped shirts that tipped me off? ;)

  5. Seriously, I'm not sure what I did before Rancho Gordo entered my life!

  6. thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  7. Oh, I've been missing Meal Planning Mondays :)

  8. That loks filling, soothing, and healthy. Yum.

  9. yum, we will be making this very soon! i love that it is vegetarian too, we have been trying to do more meatless meals (that is I have been trying - the husband breaks out the salami every time i serve a veggie meal!).

  10. Just ordered the beans.. Can't wait to make this soup!!
    Hurray for meal planning Mondays!!! I so need some inspiration right know:)

  11. I really need to make this - maybe with some of the new beans!

  12. Great post and that overhead shot of your soup is the icing on the cake. It makes me so want to ladle out a bowl for myself (even though I just finished breakfast).

  13. Hooray for the return of MPM. I'm sure I'll be lifting ideas from you left and right.


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