Chicken Farro Soup Recipe

by vitus
Chicken Farro Soup

The weather’s getting more relaxed (or maybe you’re just craving a cozy night in), and there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of soup to warm you from the inside out. But this isn’t your average can of chicken noodles. Today, we’re making a hearty and flavorful Chicken Farro Soup packed with protein, whole grains, and fresh veggies.

What Is Chicken Farro Soup?

Chicken farro soup is a hearty and nutritious soup made with chicken, farro (an ancient grain), and various vegetables and seasonings.

Ingredients:

Protein Power:

  • 1-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)

Veggie Medley:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Farro Flair:

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed

Flavor Boosters:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes:

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions:

  1. Chicken Powerhouse: If using bone-in chicken, start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken, bay leaves, and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Shred the chicken with two forks and set aside. For boneless, skinless chicken, simply season with salt and pepper and sear in a separate pan with olive oil until golden brown. Remove and shred.
  2. Veggie Symphony: While the chicken simmers (or browns), heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until softened and translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute, allowing the fragrant aroma to bloom.
  3. Broth and Farro: Pour in the chicken broth and boil. Add the rinsed farro and stir to combine. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the farro is tender and chewy.
  4. Flavor Frenzy: Once the farro is cooked, remove the bay leaves and stir in the shredded chicken, dried thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Serving: Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with your favorites! Chopped fresh parsley adds a pop of color and freshness, while grated Parmesan cheese offers a touch of salty richness. A squeeze of lemon juice adds a final touch of brightness.

Tips For A Top-Notch Chicken Farro Soup:

  • Leftovers Love You: This soup reheats beautifully, making it a perfect meal prep option for busy weeks. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Veggie Variations: Add your favorite chopped vegetables to the pot! Bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini would all be delicious additions.
  • Broth Options: Want to add a deeper layer of flavor? Use homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought. You can also use leftover roasted chicken for an extra flavorful twist.
  • Spice it Up: Craving a little heat? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chopped chilli while sautéing the vegetables.
  • Gluten-Free Twist: For a gluten-free version, simply substitute the farro with another gluten-free whole grain like quinoa or brown rice.

What To Serve With

  1. Crusty Bread or Dinner Rolls: A warm loaf of crusty bread or some freshly baked dinner rolls are perfect for dipping into the flavorful broth of the soup. It adds texture and helps soak up every last bit of the delicious soup.
  2. Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the heartiness of the soup. Use fresh greens like spinach, arugula, or mixed lettuce, and add some cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and shredded carrots for extra crunch.
  3. Garlic Bread: If you want to enhance the garlic flavor in the soup, garlic bread is an excellent choice. Toasted slices of bread rubbed with garlic and butter or olive oil will complement the soup nicely.
  4. Vegetable Sides: Roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus can add color and nutrition to your meal. Season them with herbs like thyme or rosemary to tie in with the flavors of the soup.
  5. Cheese Plate: A selection of cheeses, such as a mild cheddar, creamy brie, or sharp Parmesan, served with some crackers or sliced baguette, makes for a delightful accompaniment. The cheese can be nibbled between spoonful of soup for a contrasting taste experience.
  6. Fruit Platter: A platter of fresh seasonal fruits like sliced apples, grapes, or berries provides a refreshing and healthy option to balance the soup’s richness. It also adds a burst of color and sweetness to the meal.
  7. Quiche or Frittata: Consider serving a slice or frittata alongside the soup for a more substantial meal. These egg-based dishes are filling and can be made with ingredients that complement the flavors of the soup, such as spinach and cheese.
  8. Coleslaw: A creamy or tangy coleslaw can provide a nice contrast in texture and flavor. It adds a refreshing crunch and can be made with cabbage, carrots, and a dressing of your choice.

Health Benefits

  • High in Protein: Chicken is a lean source of protein, essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall body function. A serving of chicken farro soup provides a significant portion of your daily protein needs, helping to keep you full and satisfied.
  • Rich in Fiber: Farro is a whole grain that is high in fiber. Fiber is crucial for digestive health, promoting regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation. It also helps to control blood sugar levels and may contribute to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Packed with Vitamins and Minerals: The vegetables in chicken farro soup, such as carrots, celery, and onions, are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. These nutrients support immune function, vision health, electrolyte balance, and well-being.
  • Low in Fat: When made with lean cuts of chicken and minimal added fats, chicken farro soup can be a low-fat meal option. This can benefit those looking to manage their weight or cholesterol levels.
  • Hydration: Soups generally contain a high water content, which helps to keep you hydrated. Adequate hydration is essential for many bodily functions, including temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and nutrient transport.
  • Antioxidants: Garlic, onions, and herbs like thyme and rosemary, often used in chicken farro soup, are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall health.
  • Satiety: The combination of protein from chicken and fiber from farro and vegetables helps to promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating. This can aid in portion control and may help prevent overeating.
  • Comforting and Stress-Relieving: Enjoying a warm bowl of chicken farro soup can also have psychological benefits. It’s often seen as a comfort food, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Versatility and Adaptability: Chicken farro soup can be customized with additional vegetables or spices based on personal preferences and dietary needs. It’s adaptable to different tastes and dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free diets (using gluten-free grains like quinoa instead of farro).

Final Thoughts 

Chicken farro soup is not just a meal; it’s a comforting embrace on a chilly evening, a nourishing bowl that warms both body and soul. Its hearty combination of tender chicken, wholesome farro, and vibrant vegetables simmered in a flavorful broth creates a symphony of tastes and textures that satisfy every spoonful.

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