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Sunday Supper & More

Slow-cooked farro with vegetables, then in hearty soup

Farro vegetable soup

Sally Pasley Vargas

Farro vegetable soup

Farro, said to have sustained Roman soldiers, looks like barley, but the likeness ends there. Just to confuse you, there are three grains that
often go by the same name: farro piccolo, farro medio, and farro grande (known, respectively, as einkorn, emmer, and spelt). For this risottolike dish, you need farro
medio, often imported from Italy. Look for pearled or semi-pearled, which has the bran removed and cooks in a shorter time.

Here, you add vegetable stock slowly to farro, but it releases much less starch than short-grain risotto rice, so the finished dish is only slightly creamy, but flavorful with mushrooms. The firmness of the grain also means that it will not turn to mush as it sits, but will have a pleasant, chewy texture with
nutty overtones. At the end of
cooking, reserve some farro to make a hearty vegetable soup for another day.


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(For farro, vegetable-farro soup)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

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7 ounces fresh baby spinach

1 bunch scallions

1 red bell pepper

2 pounds mixed mushrooms
(crimini, portobello, or shiitake)

½ pound fresh green beans

1 large leek

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 lime

Salt and pepper, to taste

2½ cups (15 ounces) pearled

or semi-pearled farro

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup white wine

10 cups vegetable stock

Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at
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