Comforting Chicken Vegetable Farro soup
So why farro or maybe I should start by talking about what farro actually is because I had a few of you ask me about that. Farro is a food made up of the grains of certain wheat species — three in particular: spelt, emmer, and einkorn. It’s an ancient grain and said to also be a super food, high in fiber (higher even than rice and quinoa) and an excellent source of protein and also nutritionally dense - with B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and iron.
Why do I love using it in soups salads and as a side? Simply because I love the texture and taste. It’s got a lot of body, it’s very hearty, and has a wonderful nutty flavour that I love. So not only is it good for you, but it tastes fabulous too.
This soup has two versions that you could make. The recipe below is the 30 minute version which I usually make and my husband makes for me when I’m sick. It’s wonderful, fragrant and the broth tastes so wonderful with the sweetness of the leeks. The quick version or what I like to call my midweek version uses store-bought rotisserie chicken that you can shred up and add to your soup which cuts down the time quite a lot. You can also use any leftover chicken as well that you might have hanging around in the fridge.
The longer version, and hands down the more flavourful version, includes making your own stock with a whole chicken, herbs and vegetable cuttings. Homemade broth and the chicken from it make this dish even more flavourful, but I don’t have time to always make my own broth. I do have some frozen at times but not always. Have no fear if you don’t use homemade broth, this soup is just as hearty and delicious but the reality is that using homemade broth does elevate any dish, especially soups.
I have been feeling really run down and some sort of vicious cold virus is going around, so I totally see me making this again in the very near future. This is one of my go to soups when I’m feeling run down or feeling like something is coming on. Pure comfort in a bowl. Leeks really have a lot to do with that. Can you tell how I feel about leeks? I talk about them a lot! But they add so much to any dish, this soup included. So I say to this recipe — ‘see you very soon’ and hope you do too! You won’t regret it!
- 1½ cups of farro
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 4 cups chicken broth or water plus more if needed
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 leeks cleaned thoroughly and chopped - white and light green parts only
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 stems of rosemary whole
- 4 stems of thyme whole
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley for garnish
- ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
Heat up oil and butter to medium in a large stock pot and sauté leeks, carrots, celery and onion for approx 10 minutes or until tender and edges start to get golden
Add garlic, herbs and farro and sauté for another couple of minutes until the garlic is nice and fragrant then add the broth and let simmer away on medium for 20 minutes checking once in a while to stir and check if it needs more broth
Add the shredded chicken and peas and simmer for 10 more minutes and then serve garnished with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan