Here in the Bay area it has been cold (by our California standards) and SUPER RAINY so I thought a hearty soup would be nice. I made this soup yesterday and I have to admit it took quite a bit of time but it was really worth it. The soup was very rich, warm and nutritious (I need to work on adding nutritional stats to my recipes!) and it got a thumbs up from both my husband and son. This is after I made a disastrous meal last night with chicken, vegetables, lemon and herbs that was difficult and laborious and just turned out incredibly BLAND! So disappointing, but that happens. Toss it and watch my husband and son make quesadillas because they were still hungry (no joke- that is what they do when they don’t like dinner or if I really under-fed them).
For this soup I started with a Food and Wine recipe and added more vegetables, a little wine, more herbs and a leaner cut of meat. The recipe called for chicken stock, which I found strange, but followed it anyway, and I regretted it. I think beef stock would match the beef and farro much better. Nevertheless, the soup was still very tasty, I just think the beef broth would be better so I am recommending it for anyone following it. Vegetable broth would also be good (I added some vegetable broth at the end since I cooked it ahead of time and the farro had absorbed quite a bit of the broth). I also think that the beef can be left out completely and with some vegetable broth instead of beef broth it would be a very lovely vegetarian meal as the farro has quite a bit of protein and the soup is full of vegetables. I love the addition of the miso, it gave the soup a lot of extra flavor and excitement!
Vegetable, Beef and Farro Soup
Hearty vegetable and beef soup for a healthy cold evening meal.
- canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds beef (I used grass-fed flat iron steak), cut into 1 inch pieces.
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 9 cups of beef stock (I used chicken stock, but I think that was not a very good idea, beef stock I think would have tasted much better)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 whole head of garlic, cut off the knobby top that was attached to the plant and pierce in several places with a knife.
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 leek, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
- 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or fresh)
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 small bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped (3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons of white miso
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish
- Heat a dutch oven on medium-high heat with some canola oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the fat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pour out any extra oil/grease in the pot and then add the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth along with the meat, garlic, onion, 2 carrots cut in thirds, fresh thyme and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, arrange the cut tomatoes, leeks, celery and carrots on a lightly greased pan. Sprinkle a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper, salt, dry oregano and dry thyme on the vegetables and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Set aside the cooked vegetables.
- After the soup has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, remove the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and carrot chunks (I actually like to keep the soft carrots). Stir in the roasted vegetables and the uncooked farro and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat, or until farro is tender. Add the kale, miso and paprika and cook uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes. Add any additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with a garnish of the cheese.
- Enjoy and let me know how you like it!
January 19, 2017