Offbeat Bites: Kale and Farro Soup

Chef’s Note: This dish actually has 4 main components: the kale soup, the farro, the poached egg, and the crostini, each of them coming together in a balanced meal. The egg adds a certain richness to the soup, the kale lends flavor to the broth, the farro gives a chewy texture, and the crostini finishes it all off with a crunch.

This light dish is perfect on a muggy day, but does well on warm or cold days, too.

You can make the crostini ahead of time, or while the soup or farro is cooking. To make this dish vegetarian, you can also simply sub out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

It serves 2 as a whole meal, or 4 as an appetizer.

Kale, widely renowned as a superfood, is also quite delicious. Click here if you want to read more about kale’s health benefits. For other kale recipes, click here for kale pesto or here for healthy, yet yummy kale “chips”.

The flaky texture of Kosher salt can’t be beat, especially when used like this.
The flaky texture of Kosher salt can’t be beat, especially when used like this.

Parmesan Crostini Ingredients:

  • 6 thin slices of rosemary sourdough bread

  • extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • grated Parmesan cheese

A myriad of flavors and textures come into play for the soup, which may seem weird at first, but the end product is definitely worth it.
A myriad of flavors and textures come into play for the soup, which may seem weird at first, but the end product is definitely worth it.

Soup Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of farro, preferably quick-cooking

  • 1 quart of chicken broth or stock

  • 6 to 8 leaves of kale, washed, stemmed, and cut into thin ribbons

  • 1 thinly sliced garlic clove

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • a dash of hot sauce

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 2 to 4 eggs (depending on how many people you’re serving)

  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, to serve

Though I used rosemary sourdough this time, regular sourdough works just as well.
Though I used rosemary sourdough this time, regular sourdough works just as well.

To make the crostini, start by preheating the oven to 375F. Spread the slices of bread in one layer on a baking sheet. Brush with the olive oil, and sprinkle each slice with salt and Parmesan.

Any extra crostini can be saved and eaten as a crispy snack.
Any extra crostini can be saved and eaten as a crispy snack.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the slices are toasted and browned around the edges. Set aside.

You could substitute the farro for a number of other grains, but I prefer the light, nutty flavor of farro and its subtly chewy texture.
You could substitute the farro for a number of other grains, but I prefer the light, nutty flavor of farro and its subtly chewy texture.

For the soup, begin by cooking the farro as instructed on the package. Drain the farro, if needed, then set aside.

Stir the kale every once in a while, to ensure that all the kale wilts.
Stir the kale every once in a while, to ensure that all the kale wilts.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock, kale, and garlic over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the hot sauce to the soup, and salt and pepper to taste.

Poached eggs are quite delicate, and shred easily, so treat them gently.
Poached eggs are quite delicate, and shred easily, so treat them gently.

To poach the eggs, fill a medium sized pot three-fourths full of water, and bring to a boil. Add the vinegar, then turn the heat to very low, so that the water is just barely simmering. Carefully crack the eggs into the water, and poach them two at a time for about 3 minutes, or until the whites have set and the yolks are still runny. Remove the eggs very carefully, using a slotted spoon, and place one each into a soup bowl.

 

For serving the soup, place some kale over each egg using a pair of tongs. Spoon some farro over top of that, and ladle soup into the bowl. Squeeze some lemon into each bowl to finish it, and serve with the crostini.

 All photos by Lauren Quinn

 

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