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Farro, white bean and smoked ham soup

This is a super-easy dish that’s rich, hearty and full-flavoured, but doesn’t require a whole lot of work. Just let the flavour of the hock come through and do the work for you. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus soaking
Farro, white bean and smoked ham soup

This is a super-easy dish that's rich, hearty and full-flavoured, but doesn't require a whole lot of work. Just let the flavour of the hock come through and do the work for you. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp mild-flavoured olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 900gm)
  • 200 gm dried white beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 150 gm farro (see note), rinsed
  • 1.3 litres chicken stock
  • Finely grated parmesan and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional), to serve

Method

  • 1
    Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until soft and translucent, adding celery and garlic for the last 5 minutes of cooking (13-16 minutes). Add ham hock, beans, farro and chicken stock, bring to a simmer, then half-cover with a lid and simmer until hock, beans and farro are tender (2½-3 hours; top up with water as necessary to keep hock covered). Remove hock from soup and set aside. Season soup to taste and keep warm.
  • 2
    When cool enough to handle, shred meat off the bone (discard bone), and return to the soup.
  • 3
    Serve soup topped with parmesan, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a generous grind of black pepper.

Notes

Farro is available from select delicatessens.
Drink suggestion: Something rustic and cloudy brewed with grains other than barley, for example, farro. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

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  • Author: Lisa Featherby