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Bean and Farro Stew

March 15, 2010

I had a half packet of Rosa de Castilla beans from Racho Gordo and about a cup of farro left when I spotted this recipe

bean and farro stew

on 101 Cookbooks.  After eating a lot of heavy winter dishes, I knew I needed to make this to lighten it up a bit.  This recipe is really nice and flavorful, and very simple to make.  It’s also pretty adaptable- use chard or spinach for some of the greens, stir in pesto and Parmesan for additional flavor, or add other vegetables.  I halved the recipe and it turned out great, and the full recipe makes 12 servings- enough to eat off of for a week.  If you don’t have farro, barley would be a good substitute, but nothing replaces the unique texture of farro.  Serves 12.


1 lb red beans, soaked for 8 hours or quick soaked, then drained

10 c water

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

3 medium (about a 1/2 pound) new potatoes, diced with skin on

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cc pearled farro (or semi-pearled barley)

2 c vegetable broth

fine grain sea salt to taste

1/2 head savoy cabbage, chopped

1/2 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped

Parmesan and olive oil to serve


Cook the beans in a large pot with the 10 cups  of water. When the beans are cooked (varies depending on the bean, but allow at least 2 hours), remove a generous scoop of them from the pot, place in a bowl and mash them well. Return to the pot.

In a separate pan, saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the onion is softened and begins to brown, add them to the bean broth, along with the tomatoes, carrot, potatoes, celery, and farro.  Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is cooked through, 20 – 30 minutes. Be sure the vegetbles are cooked through and add more broth or water if the stew becomes too thick.  Add salt (you will need a good bit), starting with a teaspoon and adding until the soup has a rich flavor.  Stir in the cabbage and kale, and cook a few minutes more until they’re tender.  Serve topped with Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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