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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.64 / 5 (11 votes)

Prep time:
30 min, plus overnight soaking
Cook time:
2 hrs 40 min

Giorgio Locatelli combines deliciously creamy beans with farro, vegetables and pancetta to make a deeply satisfying winter soup


1. Drain the beans and the farro. Set the farro to one side and put the beans in a saucepan with plenty of water to cover. Bring to the boil, and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. Simmer briskly for another 25-30 minutes until the beans are soft.

2. While the beans are cooking, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes, and season to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until thickened.

3. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid. Purée half the beans in a food
processor or with a mouli.

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta, rosemary and sage, and gently fry for a minute or two. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and leek. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until soft.

5. Stir in 5 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, followed by the bean purée and some of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Add the drained farro to the soup. Cover and cook for another hour over low heat. Add more of the bean liquid and a little olive oil if the soup becomes too thick.

7. Check the seasoning before serving. Pour into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


  • 300 g dried mixed borlotti and cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 300 g farro, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 100 g pancetta, cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 100 g chopped carrots
  • 70 g chopped celery
  • 20 g chopped leeks
  • black pepper
  • chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 g tin canned chopped tomatoes
  • black pepper

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Latest Comment


Excellent recipe, but video tells more than the method! Will definitely make again.

ClareF64606 ClareF64606  Posted 11 Jan 2010 3:22 PM