This is a delicious way to try farro—a hearty, healthy "ancient" grain that's packed with protein, fiber and nutrients.
Pro tip: Rach likes to add the cooked farro to the soup just before serving to maintain its pleasant, chewy bite (think perfectly al dente pasta).
- 1 ½ cups pearled farro
- 1 small onion, peeled and halved
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- A drizzle of EVOO
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage with fennel
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, with leafy tops, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, halved and washed, dried and thinly sliced
- 1 small bulb fennel, quartered, cored and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- One chunk of rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 small bundle flat lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small rotisserie chicken
- Finely chopped white onion
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a couple of quarts of water to a boil. Add salt, farro, onion and bay and cook 20-25 minutes until just tender. Drain and drizzle with a little EVOO, keep separate from soup.
Meanwhile, cut sausage from casings. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add sausage and brown and crumble. Add carrots, celery, onion, leek, fennel and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Partially cover pot, sweat vegetables 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally. Add stock, tomatoes and parm rind, and bring to a boil. Wilt in kale. Remove skin from chicken and cutaway breasts, save dark meat for a salad. Pull or chop the chicken and stir into soup.
When you’re ready to serve, remove parm rind and separate half of the soup if not feeding a crowd and add half the farro. If you’re feeding a crowd, add farro to soup and heat through.
Serve soup in shallow bowls with raw onion, EVOO, cheese.