This heart-warming Tuscan soup is rich in flavour and texture. Borlotti beans are cooked until soft, then some are pureed and some left whole. Farro, an ancient relative of wheat, is added to the soup like pasta.
- 400 g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
- sea salt
- 125 ml olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly bruised
- 1 carrot, finely sliced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 200 g pancetta, chopped
- 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 100 g farro
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.
Drain and rinse the beans. Put into a large saucepan and add a little salt and enough water to cover the beans. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water. Puree half the beans in a blender with some of the cooking water. Set aside the pureed beans, whole beans and remaining cooking water.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and pancetta. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add the tomato, potato and sage and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pureed beans and parsley, then stir in the remaining cooking water from the beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the whole beans and farro and cook for a further 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and offer parmigiano reggiano or pecorino at the table.