I know everyone else is enduring 30-degree weather but I'm layering up in 50-degree weather here in Los Angeles. Yup, you can find me bundled up in sweaters, wrapped up in a blanket, and eating all the cozy dishes. There's just nothing better than digging into a hot bowl of a delicious soup, or more specifically, this Italian farro stew. This stew is filled with all the vegetables, cannellini beans, and farro, topped with a bright and fresh sun-dried tomato gremolata. It'll keep you satisfied and warm, just what we all need.
Italian Farro Stew with Sun-Dried Tomato Gremolata
Italian farro stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 fennel chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb new potatoes halved
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 14 ounces cannellini beans with liquid
- 2 ounces parmesan rind
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 4 bunches lacinto kale chopped
- 2 cups cooked farro
- salt and pepper
- grated parmesan for serving
- crusty bread for serving
Sun-dried tomato gremolata
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon capers drained
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, fennel, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute the vegetables until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the new potatoes, vegetable stock, beans with canned liquid, parmesan rind, red chili flakes, oregano, and basil. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sun-dried tomato gremolata. Combine chopped parsley with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers, garlic, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Add the chopped kale and farro to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes or until the kale is tender. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Portion the Italian farro stew into bowls and top with grated parmesan and the sun-dried tomato gremolata. Serve with crusty bread if desired.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What I love about this Italian farro stew is that it's easily customizable. You can stick to the recipe or make adjustments according to what you like. It's a vegetarian stew but if you want to add protein, crumbled sausage or bacon would be delicious.
Start making the stew by sauteing the vegetables including the onion, carrots, celery, fennel, and garlic, until softened. Make sure to season the vegetables with salt and pepper as they cook.
If you decide to add a protein to the stew, first brown the sausage or bacon before adding the vegetables. You may also want to remove the excess oil, especially if adding bacon.
Add the potatoes, beans with their liquids, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, red chili flakes, and dried herbs to the pot and bring it to a boil. If you want to skip the spice, omit the red chili flakes. One item I do not recommend skipping is the parmesan rind. It adds an incredible umami flavor to the stew that nothing else can provide. Trust me, it's worth having.
You may have noticed that this Italian farro stew has three different starches but there's only a small amount of each so it won't feel like a carb-over load. You can also switch it up and just add potatoes or just the beans, but personally, I think it's best to add all three.
While the soup is simmering, make the sun-dried tomato gremolata. The Italian farro stew is lovely by itself but the gremolata adds another dimension to the dish. The fresh herbs with the tart sun-dried tomatoes and bitter olive oil balances the hearty flavors of the stew beautifully.
Once the potatoes are tender, add the kale and cooked farro and simmer for another couple of minutes. I like to add already cooked farro instead of cooking it directly in the soup because it can absorb too much of the liquid if added raw.
Give the stew a final seasoning and serve it with a dollop of the sun-dried tomato gremolata. For the perfect meal, have a side of crusty bread to soak up all that goodness!
For more soup inspiration check out this tomato soup with grilled cheese and bacon croutons recipe!
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