Anne's Blog

Recipe: Borlotti/Farro  Soup for a Chilly Umbria November

Date: November 19, 2017 - categories: , , - Leave your thoughts

Woodstove chugging away these days as November chill sets in….finalmente, after an inordinately warm fall.
The wood stove top is perfect for simmering soups and the speckled beans, borlotti, joined farro (the oldest wheat variety every cultivated) in a soup I made recently.





Here’s the recipe:

Borlotti/Farro Soup (for 4 – 6)

Ingredients (note: all quantities very approximate – experiment and adjust as you wish)

  • about 2 c. of farro
  • about 2 c. of dried borlotti beans
  • 1 to 1-1-1/2 c of tomato sauce
  • 2 slices diced prosciutto
  • Extra virgin olive oil, q. b. (“quanto basta” or “as much as you need”)
  • salt, pepper, q.b.
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • top leafy part of celery stalk
  • a garlic clove
  • 4 – 5 sage leaves
  • (2- 3T) finely-diced fresh majoram


Soak the borlotti beans overnight, at least 12 hrs. The next morning, drain, cover with 1 – 1/2 qts. water and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about two hours (wood stove perfect for this!) – and salt beans last ten minutes or so of cooking. Note: use coarse salt – about 1 T but salt can later be adjusted.


Dice prosciutto.


Cover diced prosciutto tidbits with water and then heat for about ten minutes to tenderize.
Dice onion then put in saucepan, bottom covered with olive oil, heated but not burning. Add celery tips. Add diced prosciutto, a few sage leaves, the marjoram and garlic.


Simmer gently about ten minutes and when ingredients golden, add tomato sauce, salt and pepper and simmer about ten minutes.



When simmering borlotti beans are close to tender, puree’ about 2/3 of the beans.


Add pureed beans to the tomato sauce mixture and simmer. (Set aside remaining beans, not pureed, to add later).

Now time for the farro:


Wash farro.


Put in saucepan and cover with water: double the amount of water to the farro so for 2 c. of farro, 4 c. of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer (about a half-hour) until the water is absorbed.


Drain and add farro to the borlotti beans in tomato sauce. Simmer soup mixture about 30 minutes and then add remaining borlotti which had not been pureed, as well.




….and how about bruschetta to serve as a side dish to this tasty soup? We often toast bread on our wood stove top on chilly nights.



No wood stove? You can toast bread in the broiler, then rub toasted bread slices with garlic clove, sprinkle on a bit of salt, drizzle with olive oil…and buon appetito!



Click here for more recipes
Click here for another winter Umbrian soup recipe
Try this hearty rural recipe
Read more on bruschetta – and how to make various types
Read about Peppa’s zuppa di cicerchie
Click here for a tasty squash antipasto recipe

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