Tuscan Dish of the Month – Farro and Borlotti Bean Soup
Posted on 19 February 2021
As you make your way across Italy, it’s clear that the best foods available, the ones we take to our heart like the classics of Italian cooking, are the peasant foods. These dishes, recreated for centuries by the men and women who worked the land to produce the ingredients, represent the heart and soul of any Italian region. Tuscany is no different. So we’ve picked the belly-warming and nourishing Farro and Borlotti Bean Soup.
Once again, when we’re looking for food pairings, we can’t help but dive straight for the Great Italian Chefs website. A fabulous collection of wonderful dishes from around Italy. This particular recipe is from the Tuscan Food Blogger Giulia Scarpaleggia.
The recipe is reprinted below, but please make sure you visit their website, it’s amazing!
- 250g of borlotti beans, dried
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 350g of farro, or pearl barley
- 500g of potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 4 sage leaves
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
1) The day before you plan to serve the dish, cover the beans in cold water and leave them to soak overnight.
2) The next day, add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.
3) Drain the beans and add them to the saucepan. Stir, pour in 2 liters of water and bring to a simmer. Add a little salt (but not too much – it's easier to season the dish properly later) and cook uncovered for 1 hour.
4) Add the potatoes to the pot along with the farro (or barley) and the sage leaves. Cook for another hour, or until the soup becomes thick and creamy. If the soup becomes too dry, top up with a little water.
5) Taste the soup and add salt to taste. To serve, spoon into bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Wines to pair with…
Chianti Classico DOCG “Le Corti” by Principe Corsini
For a classic Tuscan dish, you need a classic Tuscan wine. From one of the oldest winemaking families still in the business comes this super-smooth red with fresh red fruits and sweet licorice spice.
Nobile di Montepulciano Salco by Salcheto
One of the most ancient of the Tuscan wines still being made today, this organic Nobile di Montepulciano shows off all the power and elegance of Sangiovese, with meaty leather notes lifted by concentrated dark cherries.
Brunello di Montalcino La Casa 2015 by Caparzo
Brunello di Montalcino has become something of a Tuscan icon, with only a handful of dedicated top-end producers. This may seem a bit opulent as a pairing for what is little more than a peasant’s dish, but that mix of concentrated red fruits and herbal notes will pair beautifully with the vegetal soup.