Chef's Recipes

Brigitte Hafner: Farro, potato and pancetta soup

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for farro, potato and pancetta soup by Brigitte Hafner.

By Brigitte Hafner
  • Serves 6
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking plus soaking
Brigitte Hafner: Farro, potato and pancetta soup
Brigitte Hafner: Farro, potato and pancetta soup

”Farro is an ancient, beautiful variety of wheat the Italians are fond of. It is available from select delicatessens, or you could substitute pearl barley.”


  • 250 gm farro perlato
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm piece flat, mild pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2.5 litres (10 cups) chicken stock
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 800 gm waxy potatoes, such as Nicola, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero, trimmed, coarsely torn
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve


  • 1
    Place farro perlato in a large bowl, cover generously with cold water, soakfor 2 hours, then drain.
  • 2
    Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming, add pancetta, onion and garlic, sauté until soft and golden (8-10 minutes). Add chicken stock, chilli flakes and farro, season to taste, bring to the boil, stir occasionally for 45 minutes. Add potato, cook until potato and farro are tender (25-30 minutes). Add cavolo nero and parsley, stir until cavolo nero is just tender (4-5 minutes). Serve immediately drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, scattered with grated parmesan and extra parsley if desired.


This recipe is from the August 2009 issue of .

  • Author: Brigitte Hafner