Something for the freaks (vegans) today. Well that is what I call my sister and she is fine with it. Farro is the Italian name for varieties of wheat used in cooking, it can be either spelt, emmer or einkorn which are all really old varieties. Above is cracked spelt, it is quite fine so it did not need much soaking before being cooked in the soup stock. I rinsed it a few times until the water ran clear and left it soaking while I chopped the vegetables.
For the soup I fried a sofrito of onion, garlic, carrot, leek and celery until just coloured but softened well. Then I added vegetable stock and the farro and simmered until the farro was cooked, only about 6 minutes. I then added some green vegetables, brussel sprout leaves, brocollini and zucchini and cooked them until still a bit crunchy. You can mix and match the vegetables to your liking. If you are not a freak and can’t stand the thought of a freak meal, go with diced pancetta in the sofrito, chicken or beef stock and shaved parmesan on top.
Now, I have discovered that a much better use for basil flowers (rather than just thrown on the garden bed to extend the life of the plant) is to eat them. They are delicious. I sprinkled them on top of this rather hearty yet healthy soup where they looked very pretty and tasted more delicate than young sweet basil leaves.