Soup is a favorite dish of mine, specially the one bowl will fill you kind. This Italian Bean Soup fits the bill. It's loaded with good for you vegetables, beans and farro making it a satisfying meal for either lunch or dinner. Though the soup doesn't take long to cook I would recommend making it ahead of time as it gets better the longer it sits.
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Vegetable & Bean Soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, sliced
8-10 ounces, chopped baby spinach
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup farro
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 quarts of water
15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, 30 seconds.
Add 1 quart of the water and the beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the carrots and the remaining quart of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, 30 minutes. Add the spinach, cover and cook about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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