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Chicken Soup with White Beans, Farro, and Escarole

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Serves 6-8

  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

This Italian take on chicken noodle soup is hearty, earthy, and delicious. Chock full of farro and beans, it feels more stew-like and less brothy.

  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups diced (1/4-inch) fennel
  • 2 cups finely chopped leek
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 3 cups cooked farro
  • 3 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head escarole (about 1-1/2 lb.), cut into 1 inch pieces (about 9 cups)
  • 1 tsp. to 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving (optional)
Tip:
If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the cooked meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the fennel, leek, and 1/2 Tbs. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the rosemary and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the shredded chicken, farro, beans, and escarole. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in 1 tsp. of the vinegar. Taste, and add more vinegar 1 tsp. at a time up to 2 Tbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each bowl with a 1 Tbs. of the grated cheese, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 1320; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 10;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I'm not into beans but this one is not bad at all. I love it! Will definitely add this to my list. Most on the list I've found at chickenbrothrecipes.com.

Fabulous! and healthy! I used rotisserie chicken and Whole Foods did not have escarole so I substituted Frisee (their recommendation) and it was delicious! Great flavor. I had never cooked Farro before and it definitely took near to an hour but is a great healthy addition to the soup. FC does it again!

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