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Gran farro garfagnino – Bean soup with emmer wheat

This is an easy to prepare soup, excellent for the cold winter days.  The soup has its origins in the Garfagna region, close to Lucca in Toscana, Italy.  It is in this region that farro (emmer wheat) is still cultivated, and the only region where it has got an I.G.P. (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) label. This is a farro that does not need soaking, and cooks relatively quickly.

The base of this soup is a simple white bean soup, in which the farro is cooked.  Use dry cannellini or borlotti beans, soak them overnight and cook them with some tasty flavourings.  Canned white beans will not do.

Ingredients

for the beans:

  • 500 gr dried borlotti or cannellini beans
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves

for the soup:

  • 250 gr farro
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 branches of celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • branch rosemary
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 150 gr pancetta, diced 
  • 200 gr tomaties, chopped (canned ones are fine)
 
to finish the soup:
 
  • 1 slice per person of good quality bread, toasted
  • new season’s extra virgin olive oil, of the best available quality (preferably a DOP of Lucca)
  • freshly milled black pepper
 
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain, and rinse the beans in several changes of cold water. Add fresh water till the beans are fully immersed. Slowly bring to the boil, add the olive oil, the sage leaves and the garlic cloves. Simmer for 45 minutes, or untill the beans are tender. The cooking time will depend on the quality and age of the beans.  Add a teaspoon of salt and mix the beans with their cooking liquid in a food mill (or blender). 
 
In the mean time, fry the chopped vegetables, the herbs and the pancetta in the olive oil. After ten minutes, add the pureed beans, the tomatoes and 1 liter of water. Season with salt and pepper, slowly bring to the boil, and add the farro.  Simmer for approximately 45 minutes or untill the farro is tender. Add some extra water if the soup is too thick. 
 
Put a slice of bread in each plate and laddle the soup over it.  Drizzle some olive oil over it and add some black pepper.
 

Posted in Cucinone in English, Recipes.

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