Lemony Spinach Soup With Farro
Hearty enough to serve for dinner, but full of a salad’s worth of vibrant dark-leafed greens, this soup is both satisfyingly and extremely verdant. Puréeing a little potato into the broth adds creaminess and body, while chile and lemon juice make it bright and spicy. If you don’t have farro, you can leave it out, or substitute 2 cups of cooked rice (either brown or white). Farro adds a nice chewy texture and some heft to the bowl, but isn’t strictly necessary.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 2leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
- 2celery stalks, diced
- 3garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3rosemary or thyme branches
- 2bay leaves
- 1pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 to 3 medium potatoes)
- 1quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 ½teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- 1cup farro
- 1pound baby spinach (about 20 cups)
- 1cup cilantro leaves and tender stems (or use dill)
- 1cup parsley leaves and tender stems
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Aleppo, Urfa, Turkish or other red-pepper flakes
- Grated Parmesan or pecorino (optional)
Step 1Melt the butter or heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more. Stir in the potatoes, stock, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, partly covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook according to the timing on the package until just tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
Step 3Discard rosemary branches and bay leaves from the soup pot. Add spinach, cilantro and parsley, and simmer uncovered until very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) If the soup is too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered for another few minutes to thicken. Stir in lemon juice and more salt to taste. Stir in farro.
Step 4To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt, red-pepper flakes and a little grated cheese, if desired.