White Bean, Kale and Farro Minestra with Parsley Pesto

Beans Ingredients

Soup Ingredients

Parsley Pesto (by Alanna)

Adapted (barely) from Madison's Vegetable Soups

8 hearty servings

Plan this a day ahead so that you have time to soak the beans and farro overnight.

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, combine the drained beans, garlic, parmesan, herbs and 10 cups water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until almost tender, about 45 minutes. Add the salt and continue cooking until the beans are tender, about another half hour. Drain the beans, reserving the broth, and pull out the herbs and parmesan and discard.

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Add the onion, carrot, celery, herbs and garlic and saute until golden and soft, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, lowering the heat as needed.

Mash in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then splash in the wine. Drain the farro and add, along with the salt, the tomatoes and their juice, and the beans and their liquid.

Optional: Add sausage or other meat.

Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until the farro is mostly tender, 15 - 20 minutes.

Add the kale, and simmer gently until the farro and kale are soft, another 15 minutes or so. Taste for salt, and add more water if necessary; farro is a thirsty grain and will drink up liquid.

Serve with a swirl of parsley pesto, below, or a simple grating of parmesan, drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chopped parsley. The soup keeps well for up to a week in the fridge, or frozen for up to several months.

Parsley Pesto: Place the parsley leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth. Pour in the olive oil, and blend until smoother. Taste for salt, and add more oil of you want a thinner consistency. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to several months.