feasting with friends

Zuppa di Farro

zuppa di farro

It seems most of the US is now blanketed in near freezing temperatures. Michigan included. How did this happen so quickly?

Yes, I know it’s November…that the colder temperatures are inevitable. But, really? From close to 60 degrees down to 30 in one day. Really? Ugh…and it looks as if the cold is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

I’m sure my actions in the kitchen on the day of the bottomed out temperatures were much like many others across the country…I made soup. Good soup. Healthy soup. A warm you from the inside out kind of soup.

zuppa di farro

zuppa di farro

The chilly, wind whipping days and dark, cold nights this time of year have me craving a warm bowl of goodness. Be it a hearty stew, spicy chili or a Zuppa di Farro…I want it all. I could, and would, eat soup every day…if it weren’t for the meat and potato loving men in my house. There are days, energetic days, where I’ll make both.

Both a meal to please them, and me. That way everyone is happy. Don’t get me wrong… they want soup too. It’s just that they want a cup of soup, as a starter, before the big meal. I want a bowl of soup…as my meal.

zuppa di farro

This soup is pleasing in both ways. It’s not too heavy, making it first course appropriate. But…downing a bowl of it is satisfying and filling as well. A healthy dose of farro and garbanzo beans see to that! If you abide by a vegetarian diet, simply omit the pancetta (reduce olive oil by about ¼ cup) and utilize a vegetable stock.

Zuppa di Farro

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

zuppa di farro

1/2 cup olive oil
5 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup onions, rough chop
1 cup carrots, rough chop
1 clove garlic, rough chop
8 ounces tomato pureé (or crushed tomatoes from can)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1½ cups cooked farro (drained and rinsed)
1½ cups chickpeas/garbanzo beans (cooked or canned, drained and rinsed)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper
optional: freshly grated cheese, olive oil and toasted bread


  • Using a food processor, mince (finely chop) the onion, carrot and garlic. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the pancetta; sauté until lightly browned and crispy.
  • Add the onion/carrot/garlic mixture to the crisped pancetta. Stir well, allowing the olive oil to coat the veggies. Sauté until tender.
  • Add the tomato pureé/crushed tomatoes, stock and bay leaves; bring to a simmer, reducing burner heat as necessary.
  • Add the farro and chickpeas; simmer for 1 hour.
  • Season the soup with thyme, salt and pepper; simmer for 5-10 more minutes.
  • Serve in warmed bowls. Suggestions: crusty/toasted bread on the side, freshly grated cheese and/or drizzle with a good olive oil.

Recipe adapted from Chef Luciano Del Signore, chef/owner of Bacco Ristorante, courtesy of Savor Michigan Cookbook.


  1. It looks like we had the same idea today Nancy. Yes, I too can’t believe how it dropped from 60’s all week long, to just about 40 today. Your soup looks very appetizing, enough to warm you up all over. I’ll definitely have to give it a try.

  2. Well you know that it is time for zuppa in Minnesota too! January weather in November. Who’d believe it? This soup will go on my list to make soon. Always wanted to know a good way to use farro. Stay warm. Ciao!

    • Based on news reports, it sounds like most of Minnesota got a lot of snow too. We’ve lucked out with just flurries so far! I guess with these temperatures soup will help us survive the cold. 🙂

  3. Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook

    I could soooooooooo eat soup every day too…. it’s pretty much the best creation out there, especially this time of year. That bowl of zuppa looks sooo cozy and delicious 🙂 And I’d really like to dunk that bread in it! It’s too close to lunchtime for me to be looking at this, my stomach’s making some pretty obnoxious noises as I look at this….!

    • I think this was the first time I’ve added farro to a soup, even though I cook with it all the time. I love the way it “held up”…still firm and delicious. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Crendina!

  4. Sounds delicious Nancy and as you said perfect for this time of the year. We are having Jan. temps now – not fair and too early! Me, I will add the pancetta – love that flavor. I can justify it as there are other “healthy” ingredients in your soup 🙂

    • I hate to sound like a whiner, but I really…really hate that it’s so cold, so soon. I can’t believe it was only 14 degrees this morning with the wind chill. Shiver, shiver.

      The pancetta does lend a delicious flavor to the soup. For those of us who eat meat…I say add away. 🙂

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