Kale and Farro Soup

kale squash farro tastefoodxx

 ~ Kale and Farro Soup ~

I don’t usually make New Years resolutions, but if I did, it would be to get my kids to eat more kale. Do you think they’ll notice the kale in this stew?

January is not only bowl-month in our home, it’s kale month. Bowls of nourishing soups and stews are perfect for the cold weather and a comforting alternative to the highfalutin presentations of Christmas past. And kale is everywhere right now, flamboyantly in season touting deeply colored emphatically shaped leaves, towering in piles on market shelves and tables. Good timing is all I have to say. Kale is a superfood, packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants, and an excellent way to jump start the new year in good health. And why hold back with just one nutritious ingredient? Kale teams up with farro, a nutty ancient grain packed with protein and fiber and chunks of  vitamin-rich butternut squash in this healthy, hearty soup.

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

Either curly green or lacinato kale may be used for the soup. Remove tough ribs from leaves before chopping.

Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup semi-pearled farro (or barley)
6 cups chicken stock, plus additional stock as necessary
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 (15-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
1 (2-inch) chunk of rind of Parmesan cheese
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped green kale leaves
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the farro and stir to coat.
2. Add the chicken stock, squash, tomatoes, cheese chunk, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the squash is tender and farro is cooked, about 30 minutes. (Add more stock to desired consistency if soup is too thick.) Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired.
3. Stir in the kale leaves and simmer until the kale brightens in color and wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind and the bay leaf. Ladle the soup into bowls and pass the cheese for sprinkling over the soup.

17 thoughts on “Kale and Farro Soup

  1. The slightly chewy background from the faro makes this a most amazing soup. And the broth sounds enticing, tomatoes simmered with onion, garlic and parmesan rind, a tasty way to begin the year!

  2. You and Steve of “Oui, Chef” taught me to love kale – and, more importantly, how to cook with it. Farro and I have yet to forge a friendship, but I’m working on it.

  3. Love the look and sound of this soup! With the wind blowing rain against my window right now I am craving soup and am happy to say I can make this one tonight. I have kabocha squash on hand, which I think can sub well for the butternut. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can only hope that one day my kids will love everything I put on the table! I was that kind of eater when I was young, but my sister was not. And my mom was an amazing cook…
    Here’s to trying anyway!
    Happy New Year.

  5. I agree–what a wonderful way to start the year! The flavors in this soup look and sound vibrant and simple (perfection, in my book!). This would make a lovely contribution to this month’s Shine Supper Club. I hope you’ll join us!

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