Posted by: lornasass | May 13, 2009


This is the tasty recipe I demonstrated at the recent Whole Grains Conference.  You can go to the Whole Grains Council website (see my blog roll) for the complete conference  proceedings, and you can go to to see me demonstrating the preparation of this recipe.

Howz about joining the Healthy Monday (a.k.a. Meatless Monday) movement — –and planning to have this hearty soup for dinner next Monday? Happy cooking!

Farro Soup with Kale and Cannellini

imagesIn this recipe from my Beard Award-winning WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY, chewy nubbins of farro give special appeal to a hearty Mediterranean vegetable-bean soup that’s loaded with calcium-rich kale. The recipe calls for semi-pearled farro which is the type imported from Italy.  If you prefer to use whole farro, it’s available from Bluebird Grain Farm (see my blog roll) and you can cook it along with the beans.

If you don’t have time to cook the beans from scratch, check out the Express Farro Soup variation below.

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup semi-pearled farro, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight in ample water to cover
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch kale (about 14 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

Set the farro in a large bowl or spouted glass measuring cup and add ample water to cover. Set aside while you cook the beans.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion is lightly browned, a few minutes more.

Drain the cannellini beans and add them to the pot. Add 8 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer until the beans are almost tender, 40 to 60 minutes (depending on age and storage conditions).

Drain the farro. Add the farro, tomatoes, and salt. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the kale: Discard a few inches of the tough root ends. Thinly slice the stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse well by dunking it in a large bowl or sink full of water.  Drain well.

When the farro has simmered for 10 minutes, stir in the kale gradually, adding more as each batch wilts. Cover and continue cooking until the beans, farro, and kale are tender, usually 10 to 20 additional minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the basil, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Use Great Northern or navy beans instead of cannellini beans.

Express Farro and Chickpea Soup:  Instead of dried cannellini bean, substitute 1 can (16 or 19-ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Add them when you add the drained farro.

Grain Exchange
Substitute 1 cup uncooked kamut for the farro. Add it when you add the soaked beans. Increase the water to 9 cups.



  1. […] here to read on and to get the actual recipe on her blog, Lorna Sass At Large. If you make this meal […]

  2. This is a wonderful recipe that I prepared last night. We really enjoyed it. I can recommend this to anyone who is looking for a nice, filling soup for dinner. I used the kamut instead of the farro because of the cost difference. Thanks for the great recipe. I hope it freezes well with the kale in it because I am looking forward to having more in the future.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I’m sure it will freeze well. Maybe add a little chopped parsley after you’ve reheated the next batch–for specks of bright color. Happy cooking! Lorna

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