2 hrs, plus soaking time
The combination of farro, potatoes, beans, and winter greens makes for a filling soup that’s packed with flavor. It’s a great dish to turn to during the cold months when you’ve had more than enough braised food but still want something substantial and warming.
What to buy: A European strain of spelt, farro is an ancient cereal grain that has been used in cooking for thousands of years. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that add a great dimension to this soup. It’s often found in the bulk section of health food stores, but if you’re having a hard time finding it you can omit it or substitute barley.
Game plan: The farro and beans can be cooked up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate them in a covered container until ready to use.
For a slacker solution, you can substitute drained canned garbanzo beans if you want to save some time.
12 medium red potatoes, such as Red Bliss (about 3 pounds), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 medium bay leaf
3 cups cooked, drained garbanzo beans
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups packed)
1 bunch Tuscan kale, leaves removed from stems and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups packed)
3 cups canned high-quality chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth
Soak farro in 6 cups of water at least 8 hours or overnight.
Transfer farro and soaking water to a large pot, add salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until farro is tender and chewy, about 45 to 60 minutes. Drain and reserve farro.
Place olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. When it shimmers, add garlic, onion, and carrot. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add farro, potatoes, herbs, and garbanzo beans and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir mixture so that everything gets coated in oil and herbs.
Add chard and kale to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens start to let off liquid and shrink in size, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add chicken broth (the vegetable mix should be just covered by the liquid—if there is not enough, add some water) and bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are cooked through, about 35 to 40 minutes. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, remove bay leaf, and serve.