|This tummy-warming chicken soup has farro, kale, and turmeric to brighten the flavors.|
I love chicken soup, but without enough spices to bring out flavor it can sometimes be a bit ho-hum, which is why I used generous amounts of dried thyme, dried sage, and ground turmeric in this Chicken Soup with Farro, Kale, and Turmeric. If you're not familiar with turmeric, it's the spice that gives curry powder the bright yellow color and it goes well with many savory flavors. Farro is an ingredient I fell in love with a few years ago, but you could substitute barley, or even brown rice for a gluten-free version. This is a relatively quick soup that would be easy to make when you get home from work, especially if you have some leftover cooked chicken, and if you're lucky you'll have enough to take for your lunch the next day!
Farro comes in whole grain (rarely found in the U.S.), semi-pearled (most common in the U.S.), and pearled varieties, and I used semi-pearled for this soup. That type still has some of the bran left on the grains, but it has been partly removed. If you use pearled farro it will cook much more quickly.
Heat the olive oil and saute the chopped onion, celery, and carrots, just until they are starting to soften. Then add the thyme, sage, and turmeric and cook 1-2 minutes more.
Add the chicken stock and simmer on low for 15 minutes. (I used homemade chicken stock, but you can use chicken broth from a can if you don't have any homemade.)
Then add the farro and let the soup simmer about 30 minutes, or until the farro is starting to soften. (I bought Roland Semi-Pearled Farrofrom Amazon.com, but you can also use barley or brown rice if you can't find farro.)
While the farro cooks, chop the kale and give it a good wash in the salad spinner if it's garden kale. (If you're using larger kale leaves from the store, you'll need to cut out the center ribs.
Dice up about 2 cups of cooked chicken. (You can poach two chicken breasts, or use leftover rotisserie chicken.
Then add the chopped kale and chicken and cook at a low simmer about 30-40 minutes more, or until the kale is tender and the flavors are well blended. (If the soup seems thicker than you'd like at this point, add a couple of cups of water.)
The finished soup will be a lovely yellow color and very flavorful; season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot!
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she was craving farro.)
2-3 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. ground turmeric
10 cups homemade chicken stock (or use canned chicken broth if you don't have any homemade; one can = not quite 2 cups broth)
1/2 cup semi-pearled Farro (can substitute barley, or use brown rice for gluten-free version)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced in medium-sized pieces (or start with 2 chicken breasts and cook in water or stock)
4 cups finely chopped kale
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
If you don't have leftover cooked chicken, cook two chicken breasts for about 20 minutes at a very low simmer in enough water or chicken stock to barely cover them. Let chicken cool enough until you can handle it, then shred or chop into medium-sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a heavy medium-sized soup pot; add the chopped onion, chopped celery, and chopped carrots and saute just until they are starting to soften. Then add the dried thyme, dried sage, and ground turmeric and saute 1-2 minutes more.
Add the chicken stock and cook at a low simmer about 15 minutes. Then add the farro and continue to simmer about 30 minutes more. While soup simmers, finely chop the kale (and wash if needed) and dice the cooked chicken into medium-sized pieces. After 30 minutes, check the farro to be sure it's starting to soften; then add the chopped kale and diced chicken and let the soup simmer at very low heat for about 30-40 minutes more. (If the soup seems thicker than you'd like it when you add the kale and chicken, add about 2 cups of water at this point.)
When the kale is softened and flavors are well-blended, season the soup to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot.
This will keep in the fridge for a few days, although the farro absorbs the liquid so you may need to add more water when you reheat it. I'm guessing this freezes well too, but I haven't tried freezing it yet.
South Beach Suggestions:
This soup is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients, but the use of farro and carrots makes it limited to phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Ideas with Farro:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Farro Pilaf from TasteFood
Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Farro Bowl with Yogurt Tahini Sauce from Circle B Kitchen
Autumn Harvest Soup with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro (or brown rice) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Farro Salad with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Basil from David Lebovitz
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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