Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour
Farro, considered the ancestor of all wheat species, was a part of everyday life in ancient Rome. Farro is a good source of iron, magnesium, protein, and dietary fiber, and it is easy to digest. Serve this soup with grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 thin pancetta slices
4 to 5 canned whole peeled tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or borlotti beans, undrained
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup farro (semi-pearled or pearled, not whole-grain)
In a wide soup pot or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and gently cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Add the pancetta and continue cooking for 5 minutes, until the fat has melted.
Stir in the tomatoes, beans with their juices, 2 cups of vegetable broth, the thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender, in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. (If using a blender, remove the center cap from the lid to allow steam to escape and hold a kitchen towel over the hole.)
Return the mixture to the pot. Add the farro and remaining 1 cup of broth and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the farro is al dente, stirring occasionally to make sure the soup is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
COOKING TIP: Farro has a naturally chewy consistency. This soup should come out fairly thick, but you can add more broth or water to achieve your desired consistency.
CALORIES: 379; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Protein: 18g; Total Carbohydrates: 60g; Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 6g; Cholesterol: 15mg