When in Rome, do as the Romans do and eat lots of the traditional foods and typical dishes from the Roman kitchen. During the four wonderful days that I spent in The Eternal City, I tried four different soups. Nearly all were delicious... Today I like to share the recipe of 'Zuppa di Farro'. Farro or spelt, has a long, long history and was the standard ration of the Roman Legions that expanded throughout the Western World. Today this soup is still a hugely popular dish and I know why!
- Spelt - 200g / 1.5 cup
- Borlotti Beans (organic) - 1 can
- Chopped Tomatoes - 1 can
- White Onion - 1, finely chopped
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Celery Stalk - 1, finely chopped
- Carrot - 1, finely chopped
- Vegetable Stock - 1.5L/ 6 cups + 250ml / 1 cup
- Fresh Parsley - small handful, chopped
- Fresh Basil - small handful, chopped
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese - 100gr/ 1 cup, grated
- Olive Oil - 2 tbsp. + garnish
Start by soaking the spelt overnight or for 12 hours. Drain and rinse in fresh water once it has soaked for 12 hours. I have used a can of Borlotti beans which did not needed soaking, but if you go for dried beans you will need to soak them overnight too.
Sauté the finely chopped onion for 8 minutes. Add the chopped carrot, celery stalk and garlic clove for and sweat vegetables for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley and basil. Cook for a few minutes and pour in the vegetable stock. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the spelt and borlotti beans.
Simmer covered for 2 hours, but do stir now and again and add some stock if the consistency becomes to thick.
Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Place all but 3 cups of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend. Return the pureed soup to your pan and stir in the reserved cups of soup. Stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and season to taste with salt and coarsely ground pepper.
Serve each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with fresh basil.