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.