Sunday, April 15, 2012

Borlotti and Farro Soup

I've been wanting to use more beans and grains in our normal diet, so this soup seemed like a good way to start. I made it thick, but thinned down half and added more garlic and kale just to try another variation on this theme. The pork came from a Whole Hog Butchery class at City College of San Francisco, set up by a woman in their culinary classes whom I know. The class itself was great fun and very informative. You can use pork skin to thicken soup or sauces, but I didn't try it this time.


1 lb. dried borlotti beans
1 lb. pork stew meat (or loin) 
1 medium onion
1C minced celery
1C minced carrot
3T extra virgin olive oil
2t minced fresh rosemary
2t crumpled dried sage
1t crushed fennel seeds
1 large can Swanson's Chicken Broth 
10 cloves garlic
1/2C farro
2 porcini bouillon
12C water



First of all, soak the beans overnight and after that is accomplished, you can cube the pork and sear it in the olive oil. I used dried sage, but fresh is a better option and if using fresh, I'd probably use 1 tablespoon of it. Crush the dried fennel seed with the back of a spoon or grind.


I used the Cuisinart to chop the onion, celery and carrot for this soup, but they could have been finely chopped by hand. After the mirepoix is sauteed over medium heat, add the herbs and stir them into the mixture.


Next, add the beans to the mixture, then the water and garlic.  Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid  and cook until the beans are almost fully tender. This could take an hour. Add the chicken broth, farro and bouillon and let them cook until the farro is tender. Check the taste and add salt and pepper if desired. I usually don't do this and let everyone at the table season it further, if they wish. Usually the bouillon is salty enough.  


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