Vegan soup with farro, cannellini beans, asparagus, and yellow wax beans, topped with optional Parmesan cheese.

summer farro soup

Do you have recipes that have been in a pile for-like-ever that you keep meaning to make, but then a bazillion things get piled on top, and you forget all about them? Until you’re finally cleaning your desk, or weeding out your computer files, and eureka! you spy a forgotten recipe you’d tucked away, and you instantly know that’s exactly what you want to make right now and wonder why on earth you hadn’t made it before this?

This soup is one of those recipes.

Over three years ago, our step-daughter Robin emailed a few of us the recipe for a Spring Farro Soup she’d made that night. It looked like my kind of soup, so I promptly saved the email in the black hole of my email file directory called Recipes. A close friend long ago sold me on the idea of having a fewer number of files covering broad categories, instead of lots of files of sub-categories. It was a tip from a book on getting organized. But, being a bit of a cooking enthusiast, roughly 500 other emails soon joined Robin’s in Recipes, completely obliterating it in the cacophony of squash purees, berry grunts, and someone’s 20 favorite party appetizers for the holidays.

Until last week.

Last Friday, as I hunted everywhere for a completely different recipe, which I ultimately found, I tripped over Robin’s long ago email in a moment of soup trifecta. 1) We were in the mountains with evening temperatures dipping into the 40’s,  2) I had a sore throat, and 3) was feeling a little sorry for myself. Really, what better time is there for soup?

I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand that it called for, and had zero interest in trekking over to the market even though it’s literally on the other side of the fence of our gated condo complex. But one of the best things about soup is how it accommodates so well to what you do have.  For example, as a woman who prefers freshly cooked beans (since I eat a lot of beans), I used some cannellini beans I’d made a few days before instead of the garbanzo beans in Robin’s recipe, although I love garbanzos. I unearthed some asparagus spears in a plastic bag that I threw in instead of zucchini, and a little jalapeño left over from my Jalapeño Cornbread Poppers, just because. But with all the changes, I stayed true to the farro, bean, vegetable holy trinity and don’t think the soup suffered from my tweaks. 

So go dig around in your refrigerator and make this soup. I promise you won’t regret it. Don’t wait for a cold night. Don’t wait until you need solace. And don’t wait three and a half years to make it like I did.

* To make this soup vegan, just omit the Parmesan cheese.

Summer Farro Soup

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 servings

This is a thick soup, really a stew. But feel free to add more stock if that's your preference!
  • 1 c farro grain
  • 2 c water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¾ c diced celery
  • 1 c thinly sliced leek
  • ¼ c minced jalapeño
  • 1 t minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 T chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 2 qts vegetable stock
  • 1½ c cannellini beans
  • 3 c yellow wax beans sliced into 1" lengths
  • 1 c asparagus sliced into 1" lengths
  • knob Parmesan cheese (1" piece)
  • 1 T sherry
  • shredded Parmesan for topping
  • good olive oil for drizzle
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add the farro grain, cover, and lightly simmer until al dente - about 30 minutes. You should end up with about 2 cup cooked farro. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the celery, leeks, and jalapeño until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté for an additional minute or two, until very fragrant.
  3. Add stock, farro (with any residual liquid), beans, asparagus, and knob of Parmesan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the sherry.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and Parmesan and serve with thick slices of bread with a lather of butter.


  • Calories:  171
  • Fat:  3 grams (Saturated: .3 grams)
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Potassium:  177 mg
  • Sodium: 1182 mg
  • Carbs: 35 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
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12 Responses to “Summer Vegetable – Farro Soup” Subscribe

  1. laurasmess June 25, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    I haven’t tried farro as yet. I love the combination of ingredients in this soup though Susan, it sounds so nourishing and delicious! I’m only just getting into the habit of adding parmesan rind to dishes like this. It works so well though! Yum. Thanks for this lovely recipe (perfect for our wintry weather here!) x
    laurasmess recently posted..Brookwood Estate, Margaret RiverMy Profile

  2. cheri June 26, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    HI Susan, farro has quickly become one of my favorites, love the texture. This looks like a wonderful recipe, I have a few of those “broad file categories” around my house too.
    cheri recently posted..The Cottage Cooking Club Month of June Two RecipesMy Profile

  3. apuginthekitchen June 26, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Oh thats beautiful, love farro, never made into a stew/soup. This will be a delicious meal.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Caramel Fudge Swirl Ice CreamMy Profile

  4. lizthechef June 26, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Susan, I have folders of untried recipes! Potential blog posts, recipes torn from food magazines – all fill up both my desk and two shelves of my desktop area. And yet I feel I make the same recipes for Larry and me over and over again! You and your soup inspire me to update my summer cooking…
    lizthechef recently posted..Writing Process Blog TourMy Profile

  5. Rita June 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Yumm. I’ll save this one until there’s an autumn chill in the air. Hopefully… I’ll find it then :o) On your blog!

  6. mjskit June 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Now that I know what farro is, I can taste this soup. Talk about healthy deliciousness. Love this soup Susan!
    mjskit recently posted..Smothered In Red Chile SauceMy Profile

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