Monday, 27 February 2017

Bean and Beet Soup with Farro.

Farro e fagioli (with beets).

Makes 2 to 3 servings
1 cup dried white beans (such as Cannellini)
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 leek, diced
1 beet, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock, warmed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 stem Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
5 or 6 kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried farro
1 sprig sage
1 T olive oil
3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Creme fraiche to garnish

Place the dried beans in a bowl and cover with water.
Cover and let soak 1 to 2 days, and then drain.

On the day you are making the soup, place the farro in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
Let sit until needed, at least 3 hours, and then drain just before using.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, and add the onion and celery and cook for about 2 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic, leek, beet, carrot and garlic.
Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the red pepper flakes and beans, then pour in the stock.
Add the herbs (tie them with butcher twine to make them easier to remove later).
Bring to a simmer, and cook until the beans are very soft, between 1 and 2 hours.

When the beans just start to soften, place the farro, sage, olive oil and tomatoes in another pot over medium heat, and cover with the vegetable stock.
Bring to a low boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the farro is soft.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the beans are very tender, season to taste.
If you want a bit of a thicker broth, spoon out about 3/4 cup of the vegetables with some broth, puree it, and then add it back to the soup pot.
Add the kale and cook for just a minute or two until it brightens.

To serve, ladle the soup into each bowl, add a heaping spoon of farro, and add a dollop of creme fraiche.

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