I have been reading the food blog of the NY Times online by Mark Bittman called Bitten. I like it a lot and we have started trying recipes from this site. This was the first one I tried.
Luccan Farro Soup
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 large onion, sliced
* 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* Salt and pepper
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 cup farro, spelt or barley (I used barley; beware of using spelt. Some readers commented that spelt took way too long to cook to al dente – at a minimum)
* 1 cup dried white beans, soaked for several hours or overnight (I used canned)
* 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; do not drain)
* 6 cups stock or water, more as necessary (I used chicken stock)
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, optional (couldn’t find)
* Freshly grated Parmesan
1. Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro (barley), beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.
2. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro (barley) and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve with lots of Parmesan.
David: I give it an A. I was skeptical going in, but the soup was flavorful and rather hearty. I can’t wait to make it again.
Carla: I thought it would end up more “soupy”, but it seemed more like stew. I liked it and it will be made again soon.