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Cranberry Bean and Farro Soup

Cranberry beans and farro give body to this wholesome soup, while fresh herbs and a hint of bacon give it a deep and resonant flavor.  
Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time8 hrs 45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jenny McGruther

Ingredients

Instructions

  • The night before you plan to cook the soup, pour the beans into a medium mixing bowl and cover them with hot water by two inches.  Stir in the baking soda and sea salt, and allow the beans to soak overnight, at least 8 and up to 12 hours.  The next day, drain and rinse the beans well.
  • Pour the beans into a medium sauce pan, and cover them with 1 quart water, and bring them to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to medium low and simmer them until tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain the beans and set them aside.
  • Take an 8-inch length of cooking twine and tie the thyme, sage and bay together. Set the bundle of herbs on the counter while you prepare the soup.
  • Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Stir in the bacon and allow it to cook in the hot oil until it renders its fat and becomes crispy, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the hot fat, stirring them occasionally until the vegetables release their fragrance and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.  Pour in the chicken bone broth, and then stir in the farro, reserved cranberry beans and tomatoes.  Drop in the bundle of herbs and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the farro blooms and is tender.
  • Once the farro softens and becomes tender, turn off the heat, and then remove the bundle of herbs. Taste the soup’s broth, and then add salt as you like it.  Serve hot with finely sliced basil.