Even though the temperatures in Atlanta have only just recently started to dip down to seasonal levels, I was eyeing this recipe in F&W magazine (it’s from Mario Batali’s NYC market/restaurant Eataly). The photograph of the dish alone looked like it could comfort and warm my tummy on a chilly day. Unfortunately, the end result didn’t quite live up to expectations.
The soup is easy enough to make, and most of the ingredients could easily be hanging around your house. However, even after sitting for a day (I never eat soups on the day I cook them), the flavors were just…meh. My husband joked that the problem was that the soup was vegan, and that a smidge of pork fat would surely solve the problem. But doesn’t there have to be a way to spruce up a bland vegetarian dish? I mean, I’ve eaten plenty of meatless meals that had more pizazz than this one. I refuse to believe that lack of meat necessarily equals lack of flavor.
Take a look at the recipe and let me know what YOU would do to kick it up a notch. I’d love to move this into the regular rotation, but it’s gonna need some work.
In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, 30 seconds. Add 1 quart of the water and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the carrots and the remaining 1 quart of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, 30 minutes. Add the peas, cover and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, top with the basil.