This is a new ingredient to me. Have you all been using it for ages and forgetting to tell me? Shame on you. I tell you everything, and this is the response I get? Ouch.
Healthy new grains that taste delicious aren’t always easy to come by, and farro is a winner. Quinoa = not a winner. Unless I’m blending it up and putting it in chocolate cake, I just can’t get past the texture. Bleccch. (I am so untrendy).
Farro, on the other hand, is very similar to barley, packed with fibre and good texture, and my kids considered it a totally acceptable substitute for noodles in their chicken soup, a soup about which they have muchos feelings. With the farro to thicken it slightly and the hit of lemon juice added at the end, this is perfect fresh, healthy comfort food, and it is ready from start to finish in less than an hour, It can also be made ahead in the slow cooker or left to simmer gently on the stove until you need a bowl of healthy goodness.
I try to do soup for dinner once a week, and my kids don’t love puréed soups so this one was a big hit. I guess puréed soup is the same idea as casseroles – things become unidentifiable and unrecognizable, and they feel they’re being had. This soup lets everyone know what’s coming so there are no big surprises when you take a bite. I can get behind food like that.A lot of you seemed sceptical about the addition of lemon to chicken soup when I posed the idea on the Facebook page – don’t be frightened, I wouldn’t steer you wrong, would I? You barely taste the lemon, it just adds a freshness and nice smell to the situation. Every situation can use a good smell – name me one that can’t. I hope you’ll try it and like it as much as we did :)
If you’re looking for more great soups, check out Saturday’s round-up for some of my favourites!
- 3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1" pieces (I used thighs, but breasts will also work)
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot and shimmery. Meanwhile, put flour in a pie plate or other shallow dish and season with about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, coating all sides. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side, doing batches if it doesn't all fit at once. Don't worry if it's not quite cooked through - it can finish up later. Transfer chicken to a bowl for later.
- Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the same pan, sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt, and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add a touch more oil if necessary to keep it from sticking.
- Add chicken stock and dried herbs and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring once or twice, for 20 minutes.
- Add the farro and browned chicken to the pan, cover and simmer another 10 minutes, until farro is puffed and softened. Stir in the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste right before serving. I used homemade chicken stock and had to add about a tablespoon of salt for my tastes, but taste it as you go to suit your preference. This soup also reheats well for leftovers the next day.
Adapted from Foodie Crush.