Luccan Farro Soup (Mark Bittman)

Total Time
1hr 45mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

A hearty winter soup from Mark Bittman. He tasted it on a recent trip to Lucca, a town in Tuscany. If you don't have farro, you can substitute with spelt or barley. The recipe was printed in New York Times (Dec. 18, 2008). You can also add a Parmesan rind for more flavour. Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro, beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.
  2. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve with lots of Parmesan.
Most Helpful

Wow, what a great soup! This was the first recipe I tried with the spelt I bought at the health food store, and I am hooked. I quick-soaked my beans for an hour in boiling water because I forgot to put them in to soak the night before, and they turned out great -- a little al dente, which is how I like them. I used the Parmesan rind as suggested, chopped into small bits, and they made these awesome little "soup clumps" where they didn't melt into the broth all the way. I could just eat this soup forever. Thanks so much for sharing!

Spice Princess January 23, 2011

I made this soup last night for an ill relative and thought it was very simple to prepare. It is very hearty and thick. I used fresh basil from my garden and would not omit it though it is listed as optional. I soaked navy beans for several hours, but had to let the soup simmer longer on the stove to get them to a softer consistency. My veggie broth was no/low salt and I had to add quite a bit of kosher salt in order to make it more flavorful. I did not have any parmesan on hand, but am sure it would only enhance the recipe. I am delivering the soup today and I tasted it, and can report that it is fine to sit overnight.

Dr. Jenny July 23, 2015

Finally found some farro, and tried this one very good, easy but will add more basil maybe oregano. Needed something. Served with pesto bruschetta.

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