First of all this soup was delicious! Seriously, this meal was incredible! Both Josh and I could not get enough of it! Thankfully there were enough leftovers for us both or there may have been an issue. Josh even texted me after he ate his lunch to tell me how good it was again. I absolutely love it when a meal satisfies you to the core. This fall my inspiration has been flying pretty high and Josh hasn’t had any complaints with what’s coming out of the kitchen. It feels so nice to have this outlet back in my life and to be enjoying it so fully before our lives change next year.
Farro is an ancient grain (maybe the oldest) and a distant elder cousin of modern wheat. It most likely developed out of wild emmer and is very closely related to spelt. It has a strong hull that is more resistant to insects and pollutants than modern wheat but it has a lower yield per acre and needs a longer milling cycle so it’s not cheap. Farro is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and offers more than twice the amount of protein and fiber than modern wheat. It also contains a special type of carbohydrate that has been found to stimulate the immune system. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested. Why didn’t I do my research on this grain sooner? Since I try to avoid eating a lot of wheat I have never cooked or eaten this grain before. What a fool am I! Where many people love quinoa or millet I prefer the chewy textured grains. Farro when cooked has a soft but chewy texture that is everything I want in a grain and more. Seriously, I fell in love with it after one bite! This is one grain you will be seeing me cook again and again.
I decided to make a soup incorporating farro, butternut squash, and sausage. When we went to Whole Foods to buy the ingredients this beautiful bright red buffalo bratwurst was calling my name. It had literally just been stuffed into casings and put out for sale. I bought two of them with the intention of removing the casings and making mini meatballs. I love using sausage in my dishes since there is already plenty of seasoning to flavor without my help. Other than s&p I added some fresh parsley, dried savory, dried marjoram, and Better Than Bouillon chicken base. As I go through my wedges of pecorino romano I save the rinds to add to some sort of soup/stew. This meal the two I had were voted in. And lastly I added in some fresh spinach at the end for a little more nutrition. This was serious comfort food all while being healthy.. just my style!
Farro and Squash tender, cornstarch added to thicken soup
Farro, Butternut Squash, and Buffalo Meatball Soup
- onion, chopped
- 2 buffalo bratwurst (or use any other type of sausage you like)
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into both small and medium chunks
- 1 1/2 cups farro
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp dried savory
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 cheese rinds, optional
- 6 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base
- 6 cups water
- 2-3 tblsp cornstarch
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach
- pecorino romano, to serve, optional
- Over medium high heat heat some olive oil in a dutch oven. Add onion.
- Remove casings from sausage and roll out mini meatballs from buffalo meat.
- Add meatballs to onion and brown. The key to doing this is to not stir very often.
- Add squash, farro, parsley, s&p, savory, marjoram, cheese rinds, chicken base, and water. Mix and bring to a rapid boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and remove cheese rinds. Lightly mash some of the squash. Remove 1/4 cup of the broth and add the cornstarch, once dissolved add back to soup. Cook another 10 minutes to allow soup to thicken. Season any more if necessary.
- Lastly add fresh spinach and stir. Once wilted soup is ready to serve. Top bowl with a fresh grated pecorino romano if desired.