Chickpea & Vegetable Farro Soup + Tuscany Food Lover’s Giveaway

Chickpea Vegetable Farro Soup | Teaspoonofspice.com

So, is it strange to be in love with an ancient grain?

Maybe not if you’re a dietitian. But, as a food lover, if the grain is delicious, has great texture and is versatile, it’s easy to love.

Enter farro. Farro is actually a very old variety of wheat, traced back to ancient Roman times. Also known as “emmer”, it has a pleasant chewy texture with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

Tuscan Fields Farro | Teaspoonofspice.com

When my food blogger pal, Aviva @ The Six O’Clock Scramble introduced me to Suzanne, the rep for Tuscan Fields Farro, I knew we’d get along famously. (I was seriously giddy after Suzanne sent me some samples in the mail.) After cooking with it and learning more about the Tuscan Fields story (their farro grows on the pristine hills of southern Tuscany – sigh!), I knew I wanted to share details with our readers.

Thanks to my Italian heritage, I’ve cooked farro in the past; but I’ve found it a) hard to find and b) a tad expensive. Tuscan Fields Farro products are currently available in Mid-Atlantic area Whole Foods and several specialty and natural grocery stores in the Midwest at a reasonable price ($3.99 for a 9 ounce package.) Other things I like particularly about Tuscan Fields:

  • Convenience: The small 9 ounce packages are perfect for a family of four and are simple to prepare.
  • Unique blends: The three varieties – plain farro, farro with vegetables, and farro with mushrooms – make healthy cooking a snap.
  • Nutrition: This farro is semi-pearled, which means bran has been scored, but not removed, for easier cooking but still provides 5 – 7 grams of fiber per serving. It also provides 7 grams of protein along with a lower glycemic index (so your blood sugar levels won’t rapidly rise and fall.)
  • Organic: Tuscany is a certified non-GMO region and this farro is grown on the Fattoria Pieve a Salti (Pepper & Salt Farm) which is also an agriturismo – an Italian farmhouse that’s certified as a resort for vacationing (I couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing over the scenery.)

Tuscan Fields Farro | Teaspoonofspice.com

Farro can be used as you would cook and serve rice – in an entree, as a side dish, in soup/stew, in hot or cold salads, as a stuffing or even as a breakfast cereal.

This Chickpea & Vegetable Farro Soup is a stew-type dish since farro absorbs a lot of liquid. If you prefer a more brothy soup, you can add more water or broth while cooking.

Chickpea Vegetable Farro Soup | Teaspoonofspice.com

Chickpea & Vegetable Farro Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, washed, trimmed and finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (9.10 ounce) package of Tuscan Fields Farro Alle Verdue (1 1/2 cups uncooked farro)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (add 1 more cup of water if you prefer a thinner soup)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt & pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 spring rosemary, minced
  • Grated Pecorino, Parmesan Reggiano, Asiago or other aged cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks and carrot, cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add farro and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add beans and cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste and stir in lemon juice.
  4. While soup is cooking, make rosemary infused olive oil. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add minced rosemary and cook for 10 minutes. Strain.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with a drizzle of rosemary olive oil and grated cheese.
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I served this soup as a stick-to-your ribs meal with bread and a green salad to my vegetarian sister who loved it. (And she lived in Italy for 3 years so she knows and adores farro, too.)

Other potential variations for this recipe:

  • use black beans, corn, tomato and cilantro for a Tex Mex flavor
  • add leftover chicken or shrimp
  • mix in leafy greens (like spinach, kale or arugula) 10 -15 minutes before cooking time is up
  • add chopped potatoes, cauliflower and curry for an Indian twist (with a dollop of yogurt when serving)

Now for some fun! Tuscan Fields is giving away some amazing goodies here. Three lucky Teaspoon of Spice readers will win one of the following:

  • Grand prize for one winner: Tuscany Food Lover’s Gift Basket:
    • 2 packages each of: Tuscan Fields Farro Perlato, Farro ai Funghi, Farro alle Verdure
    • 1 pound of Pecorino di Pienza cheese
    • 1 bottle of Banfi Brunello wine
    • a copy of Maria Speck’s “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” (one of my very favorite cookbooks from 2012!)
  • Runner up prizes for two winners: Tuscan Fields Farro 3-pack:
    • 1 package of each: Farro Perlato, Farro ai Funghi, Farro alle Verdure

Just enter via Rafflecopter below. The contest ends Wednesday, January 30 at 11:59 pm EST. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Tuscan Fields to develop a recipe and write a post but the thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, my undying love for farro has existed for several years prior.

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Comments

  1. I have never tried Farro. It sounds amazing! My favorite whole grain is quinoa, because it cooks faster than other whole grains, and is so tasty and versatile!

  2. This looks awesome! I’ve never had farro, but it looks like we’ll have to try it out! Thanks for posting.

  3. We have never tried Farro and it would be interesting to see what it tastes like. Hope to win a new taste for our palette.

  4. liza marzilli says:

    yes I use farro all the time, it is by far my most favorite whole grain

  5. I have had a cold farro salad, but this recipe looks AMAZING! I would love to win this basket and try it out.

  6. I love the chewiness and nuttiness of farro! I have to say it’s right up there with quinoa on my list of favorite grains.

  7. Whole grains always leave me feeling so comforted and warm- perfect for weeks like this freeeezing one!

    • Yes, soup and warm grains are all I want to eat right now! BTW, j’adore the name of your blog (and that bran muffin bread pudding sure sounds tasty :)

  8. Paula Artmann says:

    I have never cooked with farro but I would love to try it!!

  9. I’ve eaten farro, but never cooked it myself. My favorite grain to cook are oats. I have an ancient blends that I add raw to bread dough for crunch.

  10. I love cooking with whole grains. This recipe reminds me so much of my time in the Middle East, where cooking and dining is an experience, not a necessity.

  11. Lillian (My Recipe Journey) says:

    I have never tried this product, but would love to! I usually cook with quinoa and barley! These products sound so unique and interesting! I love wine and cheese also, so that would be nice too!

  12. I have eaten farro. My favorite grain is buckwheat

  13. I have sampled Deanna’s soup and it was amazing. Great flavors combine for a comforting meal in itself for a winter (and even fall) night!

  14. I love all the ancient grains. They seem to be more easily metabolized than the modern GMO versions.

  15. cynthia/diamondslady812 says:

    I have never tried farro. My fav grain is quinoa

  16. I’ve never had farro, and my favorite whole-grain is buckwheat :)

  17. Mrs. Hopkins says:

    We are on an unusually tight food budget, but I know my husband at least is allergic to modern wheat. I’m eager to see if he likes this alternative.

  18. I’ve tried farro and like it. Ancient grains are awesome!

  19. I haven’t tried farro yet but just tried kamut and spelt. I really like ancient grains.

  20. You can easily store bricks of Mozzarella for 3-6 months in your freezer.
    Drain and quickly plunge into a bowl of ice cold water.
    If you enjoy snacking on cold pizza, you know that the whole creation is
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