Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Triple Tomato and Farro Soup...
Last week I bought a 3 pound bag of Farro. Over the past year I’ve come across a handful of recipes that call for it, and I’ve always been curious to try it. Yet somehow it just never came to pass. Then by chance while I was out grocery shopping I saw Costco had a huge bag of it for a relatively cheap price. I eagerly grabbed it up. Though I have a few recipes in which I could have first used this interesting grain, I decided to come up with one of my own. It’s been cold here lately, snow and icy wind, you know the typical Chicago winter, and so I wanted soup. Not just any soup mind you, but something hearty and tomato based. I was really craving tomatoes, and since I know tomatoes and rice go well together I thought why not Farro? Of course I also wanted to make this dish oil-free, relatively low-sodium, and low in fat, so after a bit of playing around this is what I came up with.
It turned out so much better then I initially expected, and though the picture doesn’t in anyway do it justice - remember that bad lighting in my kitchen? Well it really makes any food with a yellow, orange or red tint look ugly, - you will have to just trust me on this. This soup is pretty damn phenomenal and it really hits the spot on those long cold winter nights. It’s especially good if like me, you are an avid tomato lover. This soup is loaded with rich acidic tomatoey goodness, I couldn’t stop myself from eating two bowls, and my husband went back for thirds!
As for the Farro, never having had it before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, or even if I’d like it, but that’s me, always taking a chance on food. I’m glad I did though, because I quite liked it. Farro has a consistency sort of like rice, but chewier, and the flavor reminds me of barley. I can’t wait to start experimenting more with it.
Triple Tomato and Farro Soup
1 Large Onion chopped
10 Cloves Garlic minced
1/4 C Vegetable Broth
2 C Carrot Juice ***
1 1/4- 1 ½ C Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
½ C Red Lentils
1 28oz can Diced Tomatoes with Juice
6oz Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs
½ tsp Crushed Rosemary
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1/8 tsp Saffron Threads
1 1/4 C cooked Farro ***
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp White pepper (or to taste)
1 15oz can Stewed Sliced Tomatoes with Italian Herbs with Juice
1-2 Chopped and Seeded Fresh Tomato for Garnish (Optional)
- Combine Onion, Garlic and 1/4 C Vegetable Broth in pot on medium-high heat. Saute until fragrant and onions become translucent. Between 7-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile combine 1 1/4 Farro and 2 ½ C water in another pot on high heat. Bring to a boil, let boil for five minutes and reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cook farro till al dente and liquid is absorbed. If farro is cooked and not all liquid has been absorbed strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside until ready to add it to the soup.
- Stir carrot juice, vegetable broth and red lentils into the pot with the onions and garlic. Bring to a boil and let boil for five to ten minutes. Add in diced tomatoes and tomato paste then reduce heat and let simmer for another 20-25 minutes until lentils are tender and are beginning to break down. Stir in rosemary, smoked paprika and saffron.
- Remove soup from heat and puree in a blender. If you prefer a chunkier consistency blend half, for a smoother texture blend the whole pot. Once blended return the soup to the pot on low heat, and stir in the cooked farro, basil, oregano, lemon juice, white pepper, and 15 oz can of sliced tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes or until farro and sliced tomatoes are heated through.
- Garnish with some chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil, or parsley and serve, perhaps with a slice of rustic gluten-free or gluten-full bread. Enjoy!
*** Note - Farro may not be easy for some people to find - I got mine at Costco, but the Whole Foods in my area also sells it - or it may be expensive in your area, if this is the case feel free to use rice instead. Also farro is a wheat product, if you are gluten-intolerant this soup can easily be made gluten-free by substituting brown rice or quinoa for the farro. ***
*** Note - I recommend using Organic Carrot Juice if it’s available to you. I also strongly recommend that you choose a commercial carrot juice that only contains carrots and perhaps water. There shouldn’t be any added sugar, sodium or anything like that. Boathouse Farms makes a good carrot juice if you can find it. Of course if you are lucky enough to have a juicer - I’m not - then you could simply juice your own! ***