This is an excellent soup for colder weather. It's got very little fat in it, and is very filling.
1 lb borlotti beans, dried
1/2 o 3/4 lb farro
1 bunch organic kale
Chicken stock* (see below)
Few stalks celery, diced
1 large, diced yellow onion
Cover the borlotti beans in cold salted water, add a bay leaf or two and bring to a boil. Continue to cook over medium heat until beans are soft, about 1 hour or so. Drain beans and remove bay leaves.
Return beans to pot and add farro, celery, onion, stock, and kale. If extra liquid is needed, add cold water — otherwise the soup may taste too strongly of chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer until all the ingredients mix well together and are thoroughly cooked. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup piping hot with a thread of very good olive oil drizzled on top.
*Chicken stock: Nowadays I make my own, after reading the ingredients list on the store-bought stuff and discovering there was often sugar, flour and unknown ‘flavors’ in there, whatever that is. I buy organic free range chicken drumsticks or leg quarters, and boil them with onion and celery tops, plus herbs and spices. I then use the drumstick meat to make chicken salad sandwiches for Matt. Alternatively you can just buy organic chicken parts. Pricing this out in comparison to store bought stock, I found that my version was much cheaper, and obviously healthier. I make it in huge amounts and freeze the excess. For a soup like this, I’d use about 10-13 cups stock.