Rustic Farro Soup with Saugage and Mushrooms
This fragrant soup, with a foundation of vitamin-rich farro grain, will both satisfy your appetite and warm you up on a chilly winter day. The full flavors of Italian sausage and mushrooms combine with carrots, celery, escarole and onions for a truly hearty meal. This rare grain can easily be substituted with spelt, another ancient form of wheat that is more readily available.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped (white, cremini, shiitake, oyster, etc.)
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 2 1/2 cups mushroom broth
- Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
- 7 ounces uncooked farro, rinsed and soaked for several hours or overnight
- 1/2 pound escarole, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped thyme
- Grated Parmesan cheese
In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium high heat, then add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and cook until onions become translucent. Add sausage. When it starts to brown, add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms have released most of their liquid, add tomatoes, wine, broths, crushed red pepper and farro. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until farro is almost tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. (You can add more liquid if a thinner soup is desired.) Add escarole, salt and pepper. Simmer for approximately 3 minutes, then add thyme.
Serve soup hot, with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of cheese sprinkled over the top.