Once October arrives and the temperatures drop, I start craving soup again. Actually, I usually start craving soup in September, but October is cool enough to justify eating it on a regular basis. My favorite types of soups are like warm salads, full of vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
This week, I whipped up a batch of chicken noodle soup for Ryan’s lunches – and made a variation of the soup for myself. This chicken vegetable farro soup is both hearty and nutritious. After a run in the crisp fall temperatures, this soup will warm you up, satisfy your appetite, and give you the nutrition you need after a workout.
What are the nutritional benefits of this soup?
- Farro is a whole grain, which means it is rich in fiber, B vitamins, and protein. Whole grains such as farro are slow to digest, providing you with a satisfied appetite and a steady stream of energy.
- Farro provides 10% of your daily recommended iron, which improves energy and athletic performance.
- The beans and chicken provide lean protein, vital for muscle recovery.
- Chicken stock contains collagen, glucosamine, and gelatin, which can boost the immune system and promote gut health.
- Carrots and celery are both high in fiber and various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A.
When making a grain-based soup – chicken noodle, rice, or this chicken vegetable farro soup – I cook the grains and the rest of the soup separately. I find this method maintains a good texture for both the vegetables and the grains, rather than having mushy vegetables or undercooked grains. This works particularly well for the farro, which is cooked in a similar method to pasta.
I make my chicken stock from scratch – which sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Whenever I roast a whole chicken, I reserve the bones. I combine water, the chicken bones, salt, and onion, celery, and carrots in the crockpot on high and let cook for 4-6 hours. Once the stock has cooled, I strain it and use for recipes such as this soup.
- 1 cup dry farro
- 6 cups chicken stock, homemade or storebought
- 4 large carrots, trimmed and chopped
- 4-5 stalks of celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1 15-oz. can white beans
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- Optional: 2 large handfuls of spinach
- Soak 1 cup dry overnight. Drain, then combine with 3 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes or until it reaches your preferred texture. Drain the excess water.
- In a large pot, combine the stock, carrots, and celery. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender.
- Add the shredded chicken, white beans, and farro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If desired, add in spinach and let cook for 2-3 more minutes, until wilted.*
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- *If preparing ahead and reheating each serving individually, I add the spinach upon reheating, not during the original cooking process.
What’s your favorite type of soup?
Have you tried farro?