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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cozy Farro Stew

I was home yesterday with a not-feeling-so-hot toddler, and with only one car which Matt had at work, I was stuck at home without a vehicle and my food options were somewhat limited. Sure, we have canned soup, tortillas and cheese for a quick "quesadilla", cereal and such...but I wanted something warm and cozy on a chilly November day (how can it be November already?). I started poking around the fridge and cupboards to see what we had that I could use to create something. Didn't have ground turkey, beans or canned tomatoes for chili. Didn't have thawed chicken for chicken noodle soup. But, I scrounged up some habanero green chili chicken sausage that had to be cooked like, today, and found some farro (which is an Italian grain with a size and texture similar to barley, but with a nuttier flavor) and that jump started this delicious pot of hearty fall stew! I will be making this again for sure! Also, if I'd had kale instead of spinach, I would have used that as I prefer the texture of kale in soups over the wilty spinach, but I wrote it as I made it with what I had on hand, so there you go. 

Farro Stew with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chicken sausage links, casings removed (I had these on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • 6 cups chicken stock (homemade is best - I had plenty in the freezer)
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup farro (could substitute pearled barley but I prefer the nuttiness of farro)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 t. celery seed
  • about 3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed (or 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I had some fresh frozen tomatoes from this summer to use up, so just substituted those)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

  • 1. Heat 2 T olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Turn heat down slightly and add garlic, stirring constantly to avoid burning and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 min. 
  • 2.  While onions are cooking, in a separate pan, heat 2 T olive oil and crumble sausage links into small pieces, cooking until browned over medium heat. 
  • 3.  To dutch oven, add carrots, celery, farro, sausage, all herbs and seasonings, tomatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer for 35-40 minutes, covered, until farro is cooked to a slightly chewy texture, stirring occasionally.
  • 4.  Add spinach and stir to wilt into stew.  Serve with grated fresh Parmesan cheese. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks super good, and very cozy! I want to try it.