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Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

New York City, New...
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Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

We really enjoyed this local specialty at Da Leo on a couple of occasions during our recent visit to Lucca. I would love to get the recipe. Ideally, the exact one from Da Leo or, if that's not possible, something comparable. My Italian language skills are non-existent so contacting them isn't really an option.

Anyone have a good recipe for this delicious soup?

Grazie.

Florence Italy
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1. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

See if you can get your hands on the late, lovely Anne Bianchi's "Zuppa! Soups from the Italian Countryside" (Ecco Press, 1996). The book is a marvelous compendium of wonderful soup recipes, including one for farro.

Alternatively, go to www.epicurious.com. They have what looks to be a fine "Tuscan farro and bean soup" recipe. Mario Batali weighs in at www.foodnetwork.com with his recipe for "Farro Soup in the Style of Lucca: Minestra di Faro [sic] Lucchese." There's a somewhat-odd-to-our-minds inclusion of peas, but the recipe looks tasty nevertheless.

We love da Leo, too. It's always lively, filled with locals ... and we're a sucker for the lemon sorbet with sage.

Buon appetito!

Montreal
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2. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

Spelt is not farro. In NYC, Di Palo is said to carry the real thing.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

Artviva, thank you for all those resources. I will take a closer look. We recently got the cookbook "Zuppe" by Mona Talbott. The recipes are from "the kitchen of The American Academy in Rome." I do hope to try the two farro recipes, though they don't directly resemble the one we had at da Leo, from what I can tell.

Zerlina, I definitely know Di Palo. Now I have an excuse to visit!

Ocean City, MD
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4. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

You could try an organic store for spelt.

wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/…

The small organic store near me was able to get pearled barley for a recipe.

Florence Italy
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5. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

Hi, RJBraun - you are most welcome! You might want to check out the English-language version of "il Cucchiao d'Argento" ("The Silver Spoon"). The Italian version doesn't have a recipe for what you're looking for, but perhaps one got jammed into the English edition.

The Mona Talbott sounds most intriguing. Deborah Madison (of the Greens restaurant, and the eponymous cookbook and of many other cookbooks) also did a stint at the American Academy (this several moons ago); she, too, wrote a cookbook about recipes gleaned while working in the kitchen there. Maybe she has a recipe for said soup? (Sadly, we do not recall the title.)

Here's hoping "Zuppe!" includes the American Academy's recipe for hot chocolate, which we have found to be nectar from the gods.

Edited: 18 November 2012, 17:30
Montreal
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6. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

Don't substitute spelt or barley if you can get the real thing.

7. Re: Zuppa di Farro (spelt & bean soup)

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