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Farro and White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Herb Oil

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Prep Information

Prep Time

60 minutes

Cook Time

60 minutes


18 people


  • 2 cups Great Northern beans—picked over, soaked overnight and drained
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups farro (9 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup Arbosana extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced celery root
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic
  • Two 28-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound red Swiss chard, stemmed and leaves chopped


  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup Arbosana extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. In a large pot, cover the soaked beans with water (at least 4 inches) and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and let stand for 
5 minutes. Drain, reserving 6 cups of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the farro until al dente, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  3. Wipe out the large pot and heat the olive oil in it. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots, celery root, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices have reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved bean cooking liquid and 14 cups of water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the beans, farro and Swiss chard and simmer over moderate heat until the chard is wilted and the soup is hot about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For the herb oil:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the herbs with the jalapeño, lemon zest and olive oil; season with salt.
  2. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the herb oil and cheese.
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