“Eat, drink and be merry!!’
And right now I am still feeling g a little full and craving something a little lighter ..and nutritious. Like soup and salad.
Sound familiar? I thought so.
Cruising through my pantry I came across a bag of farro that I had recently purchased and thought it would be wonderful in a soup. If you aren’t familiar farro, this is a great time to make it’s acquaintance. Farro is a type of wheat that is popular in Italian cooking. When cooked it has a has a chewy texture and nutty flavor. What I truly love about this grain though (aside from it’s flavor and texture) is that it cooks up quickly – in about 15 to 20 minutes which makes it perfect for weeknight meals and an easy addition to soups and salads.
This soup was inspired by a lemon fennel soup I’d had at a restaurant several years ago. I remember that it’s fresh and bright flavors were welcome after all the heavy dishes I’d been eating – and once home, I worked on re creating the soup. Using that as a jumping off point, I added farro and some grilled chicken. Paired with a salad, it makes an easy and filling meal that is full of fresh flavor.
Here are some great salads to go with it…
For a vegetarian version, add cooked chickpeas instead of the chicken.
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 leek, washed and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup farro
- juice of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
- 2 Tbsp. minced fennel fronds
- 2 grilled chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch dice
- salt and white pepper
- In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and cook until the leeks and fennel are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and farro. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered for 15 - 20 minutes or until the farro is tender. Add the dill and fennel. Add the chicken and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional dill and fennel fronds if desired.