Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Heirloom Bean & Farro Stew

There's nothing better than a hearty vegetable stew bubbling away on the stove once cold weather hits. This one is excellent and a great base that can accommodate a variety of different greens, beans, and grains. I cooked a mixture of organic heirloom beans from scratch, but I think you could use canned kidney or pinto beans if you are short on time.

You could top the stew with a healthy amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese or another salty cheese. I followed one of the original blog's suggestions and mixed together 1 tablespoon of harissa, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and .5 ounces feta cheese to dollop on top of each bowl. Exceptional.

Original Source: 101 Cookbooks
Serving Size: 10 servings (approximately 1.5 cups each)
WW: 6 pointsplus per serving


1 pound (16 ounces) red beans (or mixture of heirloom beans, if available), soaked for at least 4 hours, then drained
10 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
28 ounces canned whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
8 ounces new potatoes, chopped (I used organic fingerling potatoes)
2 cups (13 ounces) pearled farro
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large bunch kale, destemmed and chopped (you could use chard, spinach and/or savoy cabbage)
sea salt & pepper


Cook the beans in a large pot with 10 cups of water according to the directions on the package (mine required boiling unattended for 2 hours). When they are tender, remove a big scoop of them from the pot, mash them up in a bowl, and then return the mash to the pot.

In a separate pan, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat and add them to the bean broth when they just begin to brown. Stir in carrots, celery, potatoes, farro, and tomatoes. Bring the liquid to a boil again, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the farro and vegetables are cooked through.

Add vegetable stock to the stew one cup at a time until it is the consistency you prefer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and taste - you may need to add more based on your own taste preferences. I also added a good amount of fresh ground pepper.

Stir in the greens and cook for a few minutes more. Serve topped with harissa and feta mixture or fresh grated parmesan.

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