Cranberry beans in their shell

Cranberry Bean Soup with Farro

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.

Cranberry bean soup with farro


Serves 8

  • 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
  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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