Saturday, April 7, 2012

Peace Soup with Farro, White Beans, and Spinach

Each ingredient in this soup deserved to be in the title declaring world peace, but I am not an academic and like my titles short and sweet. Yes, the basil and roasted garlic could easily have graced the title, as nothing is more peaceful than those two coexisting in the same pot. Of course, the tomatoes were a critical element bridging the flavors of basil and garlic and transforming the duo into a glorious aria of deliciousness. Yes, it took each and every one of the ingredients in this dish working together in harmony to create the peace that fell gently around everyone at the kitchen table tonight.

May the entire world one day sit down to a shared meal of peace.

Peace Soup with Farro, White Beans, and Spinach
What you need to assemble:

1/2 cup farro
1 1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
2 heads garlic, roasted and peeled
2 T olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 t garlic powder
4 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 (15 oz) cans organic Great Northern Beans or 1 pound of dried beans picked over, soaked, and rinsed per package directions
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cups packed baby spinach, torn
1 cup fresh basil, torn
freshly cracked black pepper

What you do:

Put the farro, water, and salt in a medium pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid. Cook until the water is absorbed - this takes about 20 minutes.

While the farro is cooking, roast the garlic heads. Separate the cloves, but leave them peeled. Put them on a tray (a toaster oven is just fine for this). Do not oil or spray the tray. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and roast the cloves for about 12-15 minutes - until the peels start to shrivel and brown a bit and the cloves are soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

While the garlic is cooling, start the soup. In a very large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is shimmering, add the onion and saute until it is soft and clear. Sprinkle on the garlic powder and stir for a minute. Then add the stock, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover. 

Now don't forget to check on the farro. If it is done, add it to the soup!

The garlic should be cool by now. Use a sharp knife and cut off one end of each clove and peel. When they are all peeled, add them, entirely whole, to the soup.

Let all this simmer another 10-15 minutes which is just the right amount of time to tear the cleaned spinach and basil.

Add the torn greenery to the soup and stir well for a minute and smile gently while they reduce in size. Cover and cook for another two minutes.

Serve with a loaf of dense chewy peasant style bread, perhaps a glass of your favorite wine, and enjoy the mindfulness in peace.

With this recipe, I Declare World Peace.

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