Friday, September 5, 2014

Farro and Lentil Soup

This past winter I have experimented with lentil recipes.  This was one of them that I tried.  I have mixed feelings about lentils as sometimes I really like them and sometimes they just aren't very good.  This recipe definitely falls into the very good category.  It is one of the reasons I still have lentils in my house.  I want to have more recipes that make me like lentils, so I can make more soups/dishes with them as I find them filling, tasty and healthy.  The other part of this recipe that I like is the farro.  I have been obsessed with farro for more than a year and I am always happy to integrate it into recipes which I didn't have to do for this one.

This soup is based off a recipe in Bough, Borrowed and Stolen by Allegra McEvedy.  This is quite an interesting cookbooks as each chapter focuses on a different part of the world where she traveled to and wanted to replicated in this book.  I like it as it has several recipes for a place and because I like to cook different and interesting recipes from around the world.

Farro and Lentil Soup
5 oz. smoked bacon, cut into pieces (mine were about 1/4 inch thick)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced finely
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped (with leaves)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 generous pinch (or two) of red pepper flakes
6 oz. lentils (small lentils)
3 oz. farro
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions and bacon.  Put on a lid and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  After a minute or two, add the celery, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch or two of salt.  Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and farro and then add them to the saucepan.  After about 2 minutes, add the chicken stock.  Stir everything together and place the lid on (allowing for steam to escape).  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  After about 20-30 minutes your lentils and farro should be cooked.  Remove half the soup and place in a blender (to thicken the soup) and return it to the saucepan.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let it simmer for another 5 minutes (lid on, but allowing for steam to escape).  Serve with a drizzle of good quality olive oil on top.
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