Pic of Winter minestrone with farro and beans

Winter minestrone with farro and beans

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Soups & stews

Winter minestrone with farro and beans

Starter Serves 5 1h 50 min
Thick, filling minestrone. The flavours of this vegan soup come together when it's left for a few hours, and it tastes even better the next day. Farro has a firm, chewy texture and is commonly used in Italy in soups or combined with summer vegetables in salads. It's an ancient form of wheat that reputedly kept the Roman legions going. If you can't find it, you could substitute pearl barley.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 turnips, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 425g tin borlotti, haricot or cannellini beans, drained
  • 200g farro, soaked in cold water for 1 hr and then drained
  • 500g cavolo nero or kale, shredded
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • Parmesan, grated, to serve
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the finely chopped vegetables, then cover and cook slowly for 30 minutes, until very soft and slightly caramelised.
  • Step 2

    Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Step 3

    Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, until reduced and thickened.
  • Step 4

    Add the beans and the farro, cover with water (or stock) and simmer for 30 minutes or until the farro is tender. Add the shredded cavolo nero and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Step 5

    Season to taste and add extra water or stock if the soup is too thick for your liking. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with Parmesan cheese.

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