Two Weeks in Tuscany Minestra di Farro

Minestra di Farro

Minestra di Farro:

  • 200 g. farro (barley)
  • 200 g. cannellini beans (dried) or 1 can (400 g.) of good quality beans
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 400g. Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 leaves of sage
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt (see notes below)

Bring the farro to a boil in plenty of water, remove from heat, cover, and soak overnight. Similarly, the beans unless using canned ones.

The next day:

Chop the onion and celery and gently sauté in the olive oil for ten minutes without browning the onion. Add the garlic and cook for two or three minutes more, making sure not to brown anything, particularly the garlic.

In a large pan, combine the soaked farro, the beans and the sautéed mixture, tomatoes and spices, adding enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with a drizzle of good quality olive oil along with some good bread.


I add a cube of soup stock to this mixture instead of salt. The soup may need more salt than that provided by the stock cube so you have to taste it from time to time. This soup burns easily so stirring fairly often is important as is keeping the flame low. It’s better to make this early in the morning and let it sit on the stove at room temperature after its cooking until dinner time. No need to refrigerate if you are serving it the same day. Heat it again to very hot, stirring quite a bit more often, just prior to serving.

I usually ‘double up’ by using:

  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins beans
  • and double everything else.

I sometimes add black cabbage or some sort of green leaf – improves appearance – I think.

Is better left to ‘hang around’ for a day or two.  Freezes very well.

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