OK, you know that farro is my mostest favorite grain. I love it. So chewy. Thanks to my friend, Donna, she has me stocked up in farro for about the next decade. And I'm always looking for a new way to use it. Not only is it delicious and chewy, it is incredibly versatile. This soup proves it.
Find farro at a natural food store (here in Chattanooga, EarthFare or Village Market) or in Texas, Central Market. Or in any place, look for a Whole Foods or natural food store (Trader Joe's probably has it). You can always buy it on-line. A ginormous plus.....it is so good for you!!!!
ZUPPA de FARRO (Serves 6)
1 1/8 cups uncooked farro (pearled barley in a pinch)
4 oz pancetta or deli ham, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed
4 cups chicken broth
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional.....NOT!!!!)
Place the farro in a large bowl. Add water to cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain the farro in a strainer.
Place the farro and 8 cups of water in a 6-quart saucepot and heat over medium-high heat to to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Add the pancetta or ham, onion, garlic, and thyme to the saucepot and cook over medium cheat for 10 minutes or until the pancetta (or ham) is well browned. Add the farro, broth, tomatoes, basil, and pepper and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Serve with the cheese (if desired????)