Fiery Red Bean Farro Chili is a vegetarian chili featuring the ancient whole grain farro, a good source of protein and fiber.
|Fiery Red Bean Farro Chili|
Recently, farro has been gaining popularity on restaurant menus in the form of risottos, salads and side dishes. You might think it’s a trendy new whole grain (it certainly sounds more interesting than brown rice or barley), but according to an article in The Seattle Times, farro actually “traces its roots back 17,000 years to the beginning of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia.”
It is grown in Morocco, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland and Italy, and more recently in the United States (in Washington State by Bluebird Grain Farms).
- hulled, with all of the outer bran intact
- semi-pearled, with a portion of the outer bran removed, and
- cracked, with the entire outer bran removed and broken into small coarse pieces
If you’re able to get your hands on farro, try substituting it for brown rice, barley or wheat berries in a recipe. I like it for its soft but chewy texture. When making stews or thicker soups, farro can be cooked right into the stew or soup. The starches from the farro will help thicken the stew or soup. When using farro in lighter soups, I prefer to cook the farro separately and add it towards the end of the cooking time.
How To Cook Farro
|Cooked (left) and Dry (right) Semi-Pearled Farro|
Fiery Red Bean Chili
Fiery Red Bean Farro Chili
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or one 15-ounce <g class="gr_ gr_351 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="351" data-gr-id="351">can,</g> rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans or one 15-ounce <g class="gr_ gr_352 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="352" data-gr-id="352">can,</g> rinsed and drained
- 1 cup sweet potato cut into 1/2" pieces
- One 15-ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups cooked farro
- chopped scallions for garnish
Heat oil in large soup pot. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add black beans, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, harissa, and stock; bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add farro and cook another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with chopped scallions and serve.
Harissa, a North African chili paste, adds a nice depth of flavor and warmth to this chili, while the sweet potatoes compliment the spiciness. I've named this "fiery" after the deep red color from the harissa, not because it is that spicy.