Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Farro is similar to pearl barley once cooked, so it works well in soups. Compared to regular wheat, it is higher in fiber, protein, zinc and B vitamins.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz pancetta, rind removed, diced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, trimmed and diced
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
3 tablespoons concentrated tomato purée
2 inch piece parmesan cheese rind
3/4 cup cracked farro
1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
4 cups (1/2 lb) kale, trimmed, shredded*
Grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and crusty bread, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta, onion, carrots, celery and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7–8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
2. Stir in the Parmesan rind, farro, tomatoes and broth and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the soup has thickened. Add the kale and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
3. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add a little extra water if the soup has become too thick. Remove the Parmesan rind. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and parsley and serve with crusty bread.
*Kale is also sold as Tuscan, dinosaur or black kale, or as cavolo nero. Remove and discard the stalks before shredding the leaves. If kale is not available, you can substitute swiss chard or English spinach.
This soup can be frozen for up to 2 months. allow to cool, then divide among airtight containers, cover with the lids and freeze.
Chrissy Freer is a qualified nutritionist, food writer and recipe developer who has work with a host of celebrity chefs. She has contributed to more than 10 Weight Watchers cookbooks, as well as the Biggest Loser Families Cookbook. Her new book Supergrains is available now.