While of course the peanut butter lends a great deal of nuttiness to the finished product, the farro adds to this dimension as well (and brings a delightful chew). Toasting the farro before it’s simmered in liquid brings out even more flavor to contribute to the soup. Should you not be able to find farro, barley would make a good substitute, or perhaps even brown or wild rice.
Speaking of ingredients, I tested this recipe using creamy peanut butter, but I imagine any style of nut butter should do. Similarly, curly kale — or whatever dark, leafy green you fancy, such as collard greens or Swiss chard — is bound to be a suitable replacement for lacinato/Tuscan kale.
Lastly, when it comes to heat, including the whole jalapeño will lead to a prominent, but manageable, level of spice. Should you prefer a more subtle singe, you can remove the ribs and seeds when dicing the pepper.
So did I just dream this farro, kale and peanut butter concoction up by turning a sandwich into a soup, or was I subconsciously thinking of groundnut stew all along? It’s hard to say. Regardless of the inspiration, I’m thankful for it and happy to share this recipe for a comforting, nourishing and one-pot vegan soup.
Make Ahead: To shorten the cooking time, soak the farro in water overnight. If you do, you can skip the initial 20-minute simmer and add the kale when you add the broth.
Storage Notes: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium (7 ounces) yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups unsalted or low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more as desired
- 1 bunch (12 ounces) lacinato/Tuscan kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring regularly, for 1 minute.
Add the vegetable stock, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook, with the lid slightly ajar, for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the kale and continue simmering, stirring once or twice, until the flavors come together and the farro and kale are tender but still retain some bite, about 20 minutes more.
Stir in the peanut butter until fully combined. If you prefer a thinner soup, add 1/2 to 1 cup more stock to reach desired consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool slightly before serving.
Calories: 429; Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 757 mg; Carbohydrates: 60 g; Dietary Fiber: 9 g; Sugar: 11 g; Protein: 16 g.
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