Friday, September 30, 2016

Umbrian Farro & Swiss Chard Soup

By: The Food Hunter

We recently spent some time on a culinary exploration of Umbria, Italy's most central region. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is the only Italian region without a coastline.

Based in Spello, a charming walled town rich in history yet not inundated with tourist, we were able to experience Umbria more on a local level.

Our days consisted of visiting macellerias (butcher), pasticcerias (pastry bakery) and panettieres (bread bakery) in nearby villages to gather ingredients for the evening meal.

In Umbria you can expect meals that are simple and rely heavily on seasonal produce, regionally raised game meats and local wines. You can also expect to see a lot of farro, both on restaurant menus and on store shelves. Farro is an ancient grain with a slightly chewy texture that tends to absorb the flavor of whatever it cooks with. For this reason it works well in soups and stews.

Umbrian Farro & Swiss Chard Soup

1 medium clove garlic, lightly crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
2 fresh sage leaves
1 celery rib, chopped
1 red onion, minced
1 1/2 cups farro
2-3 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
4 cups roughly chopped swiss chard
12 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

In soup pot, warm the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until fragrant. Add celery & onion, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add herbs and carrots cook about 5 minutes.

Add faro, swiss chard and stock, simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the farro is tender but still a little chewy. Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Your photos are gorgeous. This soup looks so yummy. It reminds me a little of zuppa toscana. I've never cooked with farro before, probably because it is not gluten-free. I'll try to come up with a substitute.

  2. As the season eases into colder weather, we try to have soup at least once a week. I will definitely add this one to our list.

  3. Love soup and yours look so tasty. I just had an amazing collard green soup just yesterday.

  4. What an beautiful place (wish I was there)! And I love this kind of soup, it sounds perfect.

  5. This looks fantastic and your Italy trip sounds amazing!

  6. Great pics and that soup sounds wonderful!