Sep 14, 2009

Zuppa di Farro recipe

It's raining today, and we are all thankful. The air smells green and sexy. Heady notes of wet grass, rich earth and moss emerge from the ground. Shoulders suddenly drop, smiles return to flushed faces, and blankets are taken out of camphor-lined brown paper bundles from the back of the closet.

Tonight I will take care of the cambio di stagione, the season's clothes change from summer linen, cotton and pastels to an autumnal palette, heavier textures, scarves and rain gear. Mr E has begun preschool, and the novelty has brought a wave of excitement to us all.

Tomorrow morning, taking advantage of the last days off before the beginning of a new job, I will make a quick trip to the market where my mushroom guy will surely be selling his foraged goods from nearby forests and damp woodland undergrowth. I will stock up on pumpkin, cabbage, beautiful golden grapes, the last figs, lovely tangerines and buy fragrant bread and juicy steaks for dinner.

And if the showers and chilly wind keep up, I will be making some soup too.

Zuppa di Farro

Farro is a type of wheat grown in cold, inhospitable mountain areas. The small oblong kernel is used for soups, either shelled or unshelled (which is commonly called spelt) or for salad. Many regional varieties of zuppa di farro exist, this is my family’s recipe. A healthy and restorative treat to be eaten slowly and in silence while the autunno wind plays with fallen leaves outside the window.

200 g (1 cup) shelled farro
400 g (2 cups) boiled borlotti beans
1 white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 celery rib, trimmed and left whole
1 carrot, peeled and left whole
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the farro several times in fresh water and set aside.

Boil the dried beans with the celery, onion, carrot and garlic for an hour, there is no need for a pre-soak. Spoon out 2 tablespoons of beans and set them aside for later.

Whir the rest of the bean soup with its cooking water in the blender until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a stewpot and add the washed farro, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring often and being extra careful that it doesn't stick.

Add the 2 saved tablespoons of beans to the pot, and season to taste. Serve drizzled with raw olive oil in large steaming bowls.

Wine? Bardolino!

Image courtesy of aniceecannella


  1. This is the perfect dish for a chilly, late summer night...


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  3. its smoking hot here this afternoon, after the chilly morning...which i want back at this point. your opening lines took me there for a brief respite...ah the smells. glad E is having fun in preschool. the soup sounds wonderful...i just need the cool weather to come on so i can enjoy it. smiles.

    ps...the lion that needs

  4. Alice~ thank you for your comment, and for stopping by! The weather is perfect for farro!

    Brian~ Ciao lionheart, hope the rain'll wash away the fears...

  5. The clouds came in today after a glorious, sunny weekend spent at our cabin.
    It may be time for some warm soup to say goodbye to our summer.
    Your market is a feast for the eyes. Last time I went to shop at the farm for vegetables the Italian ladies were all over the Borlotto beans. So pretty but how do you cook them?

  6. LoriE~ go back to my Spill the Beans post for fresh/dried bean cooking tips, a tasty recipe Fagioli all'Uccelletto and the above recipe too, they all tell you how to cook borlotti (or any other kind of bean).

    Did you take pictures at the cabin? :)

  7. Mmmmm! Looks and sounds delicious, might try it at the weekend.
    Weather here is sunny, which it wasn't in summer!

  8. Yet another fantastic recipe that I cannot wait to try. Reading your blog is so incredibly appetizing, I love it! Good luck to Mr. E!

  9. How psychic you are. I was just thinking I would love to try faro and didn't know where to begin. Now I do. Grazie.

  10. Mimi~ I spent July in foggy Monterey Bay, and I know what you mean!

    Consummate H~ Thank you from both of us. Smiles

    Patrizia~ Let me know how it turns out. I love feedback on my recipes.

  11. Hope your little boy enjoys pre-school


  12. Lola! 166 followers?! You are such a wonderful blogger - I'm proud of you. I 'knew you when'. Well, I don't 'know' you technically, but bloggily. I hope you win Best Food Blog. How do we vote?

  13. That looks delicious!

    If you lived here then you wouldn't be so enthusiastic about the rain, as we get a lot of rain!

  14. This is just the idea I needed for tomorrow...more rain is forecast and the air is pleasantly chilly.
    Bardolino is an excellent choice and I am lucky enough: in Verona even the smallest alimentari stocks it! Ciao!

  15. Lola you make everything look so good.

    I want your cookbook and I want how you write.

    This is seriously one of the best blogs out here.

    I love you and is your sweet boy loving school?

    Love Renee xoxo

  16. How did the new job go? At least we know dinner was delicious!

  17. Lola I always adore you too, you are so beautiful.

    Love Renee who adores Lola


  18. YUM! Looking forward to trying this recipe, especially now that autumn has arrived!

  19. Hi Lola! There is nothing I love more than the cooler weather of early Autumn and the chance to make hearty soups again. The bean soup recipe here sounds so delicious. I love the market photos, too - and I'm a teeny bit jealous.
    (I hope your little Mr. E is enjoying school.)

  20. Ciao carissima Lola,
    Sono contento di dire che io e tutte le persone che amo non hanno avuto problemi dall'alluvione di Istanbul. Oh Grazie Dio!
    Le immagini che ho visto alla TV mi ricordavano l'alluvione di Firenze. Anche tu ricordi?

    La situazione a Istanbul oggi?
    Spero che presto tutto torna alla normalita', anche se per le famiglie delle vittime rimarra per sempre il dolore nei loro cuori.
    La mia questione, chi paghera?...
    E' sempre il popolo che paga gli errori dei politici, delle potenze economiche, delle lotte di religione.... sono sempre gli innocenti che pagano.

    PS_ Complimenti per il tuo nuovo button. Mi piacuto cosi simpatico vero. Si, penso di metterlo nel mio blog, OK.

    Bacini, a presto.

  21. I see your blog has changed seasons, too! As has mine. I've always wanted to try Zuppo di Farro.

  22. What beautiful food. You've now confirmed that my stomach is growling.

    Best of luck on the new job.

  23. Zuppa di Farro, sounds nice and healthy on a cool evening! Pleasant to see an abundance of fresh foods :)