Friday, January 31, 2014
It's late Friday afternoon and a cold front is moving in. The wind is coming from the West as it blows the neighbor's leaves round and round. Even the wind chimes in the backyard are ringing harmoniously. I head out to the kitchen, reach down for my large cast iron pot; it's time for soup.
Today's recipe is slightly adapted from the January issue of "Bon Appetit", magazine. It is noted that this dish is inspired by the classic Italian pasta and bean stew, pasta e fagiole. The ingredient list actually calls out for 1 cup spelt. I am substituting semi-pearled farro as this grain is also recommended along with wheat berries to try. The grains are toasted about 3 minutes until they turn a darker color. This process really intensifies their flavor. This soup begins with all the essentials and ends with a thin shaving of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
1 medium onion, (coarsely chopped)
1 small fennel bulb, (cored, coarsely chopped)
1 carrot, (coarsely chopped)
1 celery stalk, (coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 ounces Pancetta, (cut into 1/4" pieces)
1 cup spelt (I used farro)
2 cloves garlic, (chopped)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (used 4 diced roma tomatoes)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 head escarole, (leaves torn in bite sized pieces)
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
Shaved Parmesan (for serving)
Pulse onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with fennel, carrot, and celery, placing vegetables in bowl with onion.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add Pancetta and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add spelt and cook stirring often, until grains are a couple of shades darker, about 3 minutes.
Add onion, fennel, carrot, celery, and garlic to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook until paste is slightly darkened about 1 minute.
Add broth to pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until spelt is tender 60 to 70 minutes. Stir in escarole and beans cook cook until greens are wilted, about 4 minutes.
Serve soup drizzled with oil and shaved Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Cheri Savory Spoon
Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.
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