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Tuscan Farro Soup with White Beans, Tomatoes and Basil

This wonderfully textured soup marries a handful of classic Tuscan flavors. The beans and farro make it hearty enough for a meal. Serve with an Italian red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup farro
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or other white beans, drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the farro and a pinch of salt, reduce the heat to low, cover partially and cook until all the water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the beans, tomatoes with their juices and the farro. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the spinach and basil and stir just until the spinach is wilted. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).