Recipe: Hearty Minestrone Soup with Farro

Veggies, beans and healthy grain
A small bowl of farro minestrone with a light dusting of parmesan cheese

This recipe takes a classic minestrone soup and turns it into a scrumptious one-dish wonder. Adding the ancient grain farro makes this soup hearty and gives it a nutty flavor. With cabbage, kidney beans, carrots, onion and tomatoes, you get lots of cholesterol-lowering, energy-boosting ingredients.

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1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 ribs celery
4 large carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
15-ounce can whole tomatoes
6 cups water
½ cup farro
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ of a head of savoy cabbage
15-ounce can (no-salt) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan


  1. Chop the onion and garlic. Slice the celery in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into small pieces. Do the same with the carrots. (You may have to quarter them lengthwise if the carrots are especially fat.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and let cook for 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes (break them up with your spoon as they cook), water, farro, thyme, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Split the cabbage in half and remove the core. Then slice one-half of the cabbage head into ½-inch wide strips (about 4 cups). Add the cabbage and beans to the soup and simmer until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Nutrition information

Makes 4 servings

Each serving contains:

Calories 380 (about 3½ cups)
Total fat 11g
Saturated fat 2.5g
Trans fat 0g
Protein 14g
Total carbohydrate 56g
Fiber 12g
Sugar 13g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 530mg  

Recipe developed by cookbook author Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness

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