"As with pasta that I add to soups, I make the farro on the side and add it to the soup in portions as it is served so it does not bloat or overcook in the soup," Rach says.
- 1 ½ cups pearled farro
- 1 small onion, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 ½ cups small lentils, lentils di Norcia
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped, or ‘Nduja (for spicy soup)
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, peeled and chopped
- 1 large onions, chopped (or 2 medium onions)
- 1 leek, quartered and chopped or thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 quarts chicken, beef stock or vegetable stock
- 1 bunch lacinto kale (cavolo nero), stemmed and chopped
- Nutmeg , to taste and freshly grated
- 1 cup parsley, packed
- 1 cup basil, packed
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino
For the farro, rinse farro and bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add farro, onion and bay, cook to al dente 15-18 minutes, then drain and drizzle with a touch of EVOO and store in airtight container.
For the soup, soak lentils overnight.
Rinse the lentils.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add pancetta or sausage paste and stir 2 minutes. Add vegetables, garlic and rosemary to soften, cooking partially covered, 5 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes and stock, bring soup to boil, then wilt in greens and add nutmeg.
For the herb and walnut sauce, in a food processor, combine parsley, basil, garlic, walnuts, lemon zest and juice and finely chop, stream in olive oil, pulse in cheese.
Add farro to soup to serve.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls topped with dollops of herb and walnut sauce.