Yesterday was “soup day.” I made two big pots of vegetable broth so I would have the base for making some homemade vegetable soups for some friends. Homemade vegetable broth is so much better than the boxed variety. It is clean, clear, and light.
As I was thinking about what soups to make, I came across an article in the most recent issue of Food and Wine magazine featuring the grand opening of Eataly in New York City.
Eataly is a 50,000-square-foot “artisanal-food-and-wine market and restaurant complex.” “[We hope] to transport the client into a setting that exudes Italian philosophy — the whole package of living well,” says Lidia Bastianich. I am a huge fan of Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich (my kids love Italian food).
What really caught my eye was the vegetable butcher and vegetable eatery featured at Eataly, which will serve dishes using local produce. Included in the article was a recipe for Mixed Vegetable and Farro Soup. Perfect, a new healthy soup recipe to try.
I decided to make Mario’s vegetable soup recipe and my old standby French Lentil Soup With Barley and Rainbow Chard (except, I used kale this time). I even had some vegetable broth left afterwards, which I will freeze for the next soup day.
I hope Mario doesn’t mind, but I made a few alterations, including using homemade vegetable broth instead of water, and adding some fresh herbs, as well as some leafy green vegetables to make it a one dish meal.
Mixed Vegetable Soup with Wheat Berries and Baby Spinach
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium leek white and pale green parts only, washed thoroughly and thinly sliced
- 1 cup wheat berries or farro
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- One 15-ounce can borlotti or other beans rinsed and drained
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 stem fresh basil
- 2 large carrots halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4" thick
- 4 handfuls of baby spinach any leafy green vegetable will work such as kale, swiss chard, just cut into bite size pieces
Heat oil in soup pot. Add celery, onion and leek and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add wheat berries and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated and shiny, about 30 seconds. Add 1 quart of the broth, the beans, the thyme and basil, and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Add carrots and the remaining broth. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Add spinach, and cook until just wilted (heartier leafy green vegetables will take slightly longer to cook). Remove thyme branch and wilted basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Adapted from Eataly's recipe, as published in Food and Wine, October 2010
More Healthy Soup Recipes:
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomato and Basil
Fat Free Vegan’s Butter Bean with Portobellas and Wild Rice
101 Cookbook’s Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
Simply Recipe’s White Bean and Vegetable Soup
Anticancer Ingredients: Onion, Leek, Carrots, Tomato, Wheat Berries, Farro, Beans, Leafy Green Vegetables