Move over, butternut squash bisque! This recipe comes from Marco Canora’s cookbook A Good Food Day. Despite its lack of cream, its consistency of this cranberry bean soup with farro is silky, smooth, and luxurious. This is a favorite soup to serve before dinner as a shot to our guests at Hearth in the winter months.
If served as a meal, this soup benefits from toppings to break up the consistency a bit – homemade breadcrumbs, fried sage leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, crumbled Parmesan cheese, and/or cooked whole farro are good options. As for the beans, if you can’t find cranberry beans, white beans or any thin-skinned beans will do.
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 small carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 3 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets
- Fine sea salt
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 pound dried cranberry beans, soaked and drained
- 10 cups Brodo of your choice (we love it with Organic Chicken and Hearth)
- Bouquet garni (a few sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage tied together with kitchen twin) – plus extra thyme for garnish
- 1.5 cups cooked farro
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot and slides easily across the pan, add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, anchovies, and a couple pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, stirring well to coat the vegetables. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and darkened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, 10 cups Brodo, the bouquet garni, and a couple of pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a gentle simmer (there should only be a little movement in the liquid). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and creamy, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours (this is a forgiving soup, so don’t worry about overcooking it).
- Remove the bouquet garni. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and add to another large pot over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust the consistency with more water or broth, if needed.
- To serve, put 2 generous tablespoons of farro in each serving bowl, ladle a cup of soup over it, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan, a few dots of olive oil, and/or anything else you desire.