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Chickpea, Roasted Squash, and Farro Soup

This image courtesy of Annie Schlechter

This soup, adapted from the cookbook Zuppe, by Mona Talbott, is complex, mellow, and sweet. The bursts of orange butternut squash contrast beautifully with the earthy shades of the chickpeas and farro, livened up with a tableside drizzle of chili oil. Using dried chickpeas here is key, because the base of the soup is their cooking liquid. If you're new to farro, it's a nutty, chewy, lowgluten ancient grain and can be found in most supermarkets near the grains or bulk/dried goods. Serve with some Marinated Brussels Sprouts. // JULIE

Makes8 quarts

Cooking MethodSauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

MealDinner, Lunch

MoodStressed, Tired

Taste and TextureGarlicky, Herby, Hot & Spicy, Savory

Type of DishSoup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 4 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 10 carrots, finely chopped
  • 10 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 5 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 heads garlic (about 20 cloves), peeled and divided
  • 7 to 9 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked and drained
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups farro (13 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 2 large bunches Red Russian kale or other greens, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup Chili Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in the stockpot and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt and sauté the vegetables until they begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Mince half of the garlic and stir in along with the rosemary. Sauté for another few minutes.

  3. Add the chickpeas and 4 quarts water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender. Skim away any foam that comes to the surface.

  4. Meanwhile, spread the remaining garlic cloves and butternut squash cubes out in a single layer on two foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle each pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Toss with your hands to evenly coat. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and browned.

  5. While the chickpeas are simmering and the squash is roasting, bring 3 quarts water to a boil and add the farro. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the farro over a medium bowl and reserve the cooking liquid.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet and add the chopped kale and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes, and set aside for delivery.

  7. Add the roasted squash and garlic and cooked farro to the chickpeas and simmer for about 20 more minutes. If the soup seems too thick, thin with the reserved farro cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. FOR DELIVERY

  9. Include one quarter of the sautéed kale, cheese, and chili oil.

  10. TO SERVE

  11. Reheat the soup and the kale separately. Lay some of the kale in the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle the soup over it. Grate cheese on top and drizzle with chili oil.

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