Farro Soup with Porcini, Speck and Chestnuts

Farro Soup with Porcini, Speck and Chestnuts

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A truly Italian autumn soup made of farro (aka pearl spelt), porcini mushrooms and chestnuts. It also calls for speck, a cured meat typical of Alto Adige and Austria. But you can easily replace it with prosciutto or bacon if you can't find it.


Serves: 4 

  • 160g farro
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 50g speck, sliced in short strips
  • 400g fresh porcini mushrooms, cubed
  • 200g cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato passata
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:30min  ›  Ready in:1hour30min 

  1. Soak the farro in water for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and place in a saucepan. Cover generously with fresh water, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. (If using precooked farro, follow instructions on the package.) Drain and set the farro aside.
  2. Warm up the stock in a large saucepan.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then add the garlic, fresh sage and half of the speck. Sautè for a few minutes, then add the porcini mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove garlic and sage and stir in the chestnuts. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the passata to the pan and 4 to 5 ladlefuls of vegetable stock. Cook for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the farro and cook on low heat 20 minutes longer. The soup should gently simmer; if too thick, add some hot water.
  5. In a small pan, fry the remaining speck in a drizzle of oil until crispy.
  6. Once ready, distribute the soup between 4 bowls, add remaining speck and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and serve.


To clean porcini do not wash with water. With a small knife cut off the dirty bottom, then take off any remaining dirt with a vegetable brush or a dump cloth. If fresh are not available, using 20 to 30g of dried porcini. Soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then squeeze off water and pass through a sieve. Use some of the water for cooking the soup.

Homemade Stock

Make your own vegetable stock, in 600ml of water, cook 1 carrot, 2 celery sticks and 1 onion. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

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