Farro, an Italian whole wheat grain, adds heartiness to this kale and vegetable soup. It also cooks faster than traditional barley, which makes this an easy, quick soup to make. To create a vegetarian version of this soup, add water instead of stock plus two Parmesan rinds.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 whole leek, all parts, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 large carrots, sliced into half-moons (about 2 cups)
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup farro, rinsed
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 4 cups kale (½ bunch, stripped from stalk, chopped into bite-size pieces, and rinsed)
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan, grated
- In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the leek and sauté until the leek is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock, carrots, celery, thyme, farro, and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer the soup, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the kale and tomatoes. Bring to a boil again, lower the heat to low and simmer for a final 15 to 20 minutes, until the farro is tender. Taste the soup and add additional salt—I used about 2½ teaspoons of kosher salt in all—and a few grinds of pepper. Top each bowl with Parmesan to taste, for more depth of flavor.