Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Mixed vegetable and farro soup | November 29, 2010

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.

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup farro or wheat berries
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 quarts water
  • One 15-ounce can borlotti or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil

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.



  1. Oh wow your soup looks so healthy and nutritious. It sounds easy to make and very comforting.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    Comment by Tes — November 29, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  2. This looks pretty bland to me. For starters it needs to use vege stock, not water. I never make a vege soup without stock, it’s just way too bland. I might add a splash of wine in with the stock as well. And I would add a sprinkling of salt in with the stock if the stock didn’t have any salt already.

    Comment by Fi — November 29, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  3. Yes, I should have made my own veg stock to use – next time!

    Comment by bettyjoan — April 6, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

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