Farro White Bean Soup

This recipe is a take on a typical Tuscan soup recipe using farro and white beans.  I wanted something a little more meaty and incorporated a beef shank as well as some purchased beef broth.

There are a lot of ingredients in the soup and it is built in stages.  Also, to make a soup of this quantity you need a large stock pot, so as the saying goes “it may not be for everyone”.

On the plus side of things, the soup is full of good stuff that will totally satisfy your appetite.  In addition, it makes a lot of servings.  Since my household is comprised of only two adults, I like the soup because it makes up 6 additional servings I can freeze and save for a rainy day, literally.  The recipe makes 8 servings of 2 cups each and each serving has 204 calories.

I made the soup today looking back over my shoulder on the winter solstice, so the weather is dark, dreary and rainy even though we are in “Sunny Florida”.

Definitely a soup to make when you have time, and don’t mind the trouble it takes to make it.


  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 1-pound beef shank
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 carrots, sliced
  6. 2 stalks celery, sliced
  7. 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  8. 2 leeks white only, sliced
  9. 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon parsley, leaves only
  11. 1 14-ounce can whole tomato
  12. ½ cup farro
  13. ½ cup white beans, raw*
  14. 4 cups unsalted beef broth
  15. 1 bouquet garni & Parmesan rind
  16. 12 cups of water, divided
  17. 1 zucchini, cut in dice
  18. 1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped
  19. 1 cup of cauliflower, cut up


  1. In a large stock pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat and brown the beef shank.
  2. Meanwhile, chop, mince, slice the vegetables and prepare your bouquet garni.
  3. When the shank is brown, remove from the pot, add the other tablespoon of oil as well as the next 6 ingredients.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or so until onions soften.
  5. Add the next seven ingredients and 6 cups of water.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a high simmer. Cook for 1 ½ hours.
  7. Remove the shank and cut into small pieces.
  8. Add the remaining 6 cups of water, the 3 remaining vegetables.
  9. Add the shank pieces, bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat to a high simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

In our household, we have soup to freeze!

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