Soups and Chilis

Summer Tomato, Basil and Farro Soup

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Mmm, farro!  Have you tried it yet?  It’s a hearty whole grain with sort of a nutty flavor and al dente texture.  I experimented with farro for the first time on the Fourth of July when I made this amazing (no joke) summer salad from the New York Times.  The New York Times must really love farro because a couple weeks ago when I was searching for a soup recipe that would put some of our tomatoes to good use (we have enough to start our own tomato shop) I found this soup on the New York Times website, which called for…wait for it…..FARRO!

Our garden, about 3 weeks ago, looked like this.  Now imagine this same image, times about four.  That’s what it looks like now. It’s not really pretty at this point, but it’s my recipe inspiration. The left is mainly butternut squash, and the right side is tomato and green pepper.

Without further ado, I present, the most amazing summer soup…..

 Summer Tomato, Basil and Farro Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1 cup farro, dried
  • 4 large sprigs basil, stems and leaves separated
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 4 garlic cloves **
  • 1 large leek, white and light parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced **
  • 3 lbs. ripe roma (or other) tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour 8 cups cold water and 1 tablespoon salt into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, add the farro and basil stems and cook until grains are tender but still a little chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the leek and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook leeks until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 cup reserved cooking liquid. Bring it to a simmer.  Cook until the tomatoes have completely fallen apart, about 30 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, purée the tomato mixture until smooth (you may have to do this in batches). Add half the farro and pulse until the grains are broken down and the soup is a chunky purée. Stir in the remaining farro. If the soup seems thick, add more cooking liquid. Taste and add more salt if needed (although, it shouldn’t be needed!). Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Drizzle with oil; top generously with black pepper and torn basil leaves.

Notes

** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet omit the garlic and add the garlic flavor back by using a garlic or Tuscan-infused olive oil.  Also, instead of using leeks use chives (I used ~ ½ cup chopped chives. Yum).

This was my first time using an emersion blender.  It was fun.  I need to put this on my Christmas list (this was my mom’s).

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/6th of recipes
Source: CalorieCount.com

WARNING!  This soup is not low sodium. Nope, not even close.  I would strongly recommend reducing sodium if you are trying to reduce your sodium intake.  This is actually less sodium than the original recipe (yikes, can you imagine!?). You could also use a salt substitute or add some vinegar to replace some of the salt (the bitterness from the vinegar might bring out some of the saltiness, making it taste saltier than it really is).

Nutrition Highlights:  Excellent source of iron, fiber, and vitamin C

On the night I made this Nick and I had dinner with my parents.  It’s always a good sign when both Nick and my dad enjoy something that I’ve made.  They both gobbled this soup down, and Nick was even happy to take home leftovers for his lunches.  It was truly delicious.  On this particular night, we served the soup with chicken off the grill (and some good Columbus Pale Ale, of course).

QUESTION:  Have you tried farro? What about farro in soup? Are you looking forward to the soup season like I am? It’s right around the corner!

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd

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