1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed** (or 3 cups cooked whole grains, like wheat berries, spelt berries or kamut)
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 bunch of kale (4 ounces), chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (optional, if you like it extra spicy like me)
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, sweet potato and salt. Sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften.
Add the curry paste and stir until the vegetables are coated and the curry is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the farro, if that’s your grain of choice. Add the vegetable broth and water, and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Test the farro for doneness—if it’s tender and cooked through, add the chickpeas and kale. Stir to combine, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the kale is cooked to your liking. If you chose to use pre-cooked whole grains, add them now. (If the farro is not done cooking yet, continue simmering until it’s tender, then proceed with the kale. This could take another 20 minutes, depending on the farro.)
Taste, and season with more salt as needed. I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon—if the soup tastes flat, add more salt. To kick up the flavor a notch and balance the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, stir in the optional cayenne pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. I like this soup even more the next day. Leftovers keep well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. The soup freezes well, too.
Recipe based on Heidi Swanson’s farro soup in Super Natural Every Day. Serving suggestions: This soup is vegan, but mighty tasty with a side of whole wheat toast slathered with goat cheese.
*Thai red curry paste: Look for it in the Asian/international section of the grocery store. I like Thai Kitchen brand, which is vegan (some brands contain shrimp). You can substitute 1 tablespoon curry powder for the curry paste, for a totally different flavor. **Whole grain notes: I prefer using farro as the whole grain because it requires less cooking time than wheat berries, spelt berries or kamut, so it can be cooked along with the soup. The soup is great with those other whole grains, but you’ll want to start cooking those in a separate pot well before the farro; just add the whole grains along with the chickpeas so no ingredients are overcooked or lose their texture.
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