I was excited to run across this Mark Bitman rendition of the famous farro and bean soup typical to the town of Lucca in Tuscany. My husband’s Italian side of the family happens to be from Lucca which is a beautiful medieval city with picturesque towers and equally picturesque narrow cobblestone streets. The Roman walls surrounding the city are still completely in tact and in fact, you can walk (or ride your bike) on top of the walls for a great view of the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s the kind of place that makes me wish even more than I already do, that I was even the teensiest bit Italian.
Having been lucky to eat quite a few meals in Lucca over the last bunch of years, I can attest to the fact that the town of Lucca has a special love for farro and you’ll see it everywhere in a variety of salad-y, soup-y or side dish-y forms. The big, delicious platters of farro cooked for us by our familia are always a highlight as is this farro and bean soup which we’ve enjoyed in restaurants around town. And as with the best Italian recipes, the beauty of it is in the simplicity…. another example of a dish being way more sum of its humble parts: just white beans, farro, carrots, celery, onion, stock, a little bit of tomato and a lot of Parmegiano Reggiano.
I made this soup for my boys recently and it was a super mega hit. As we’re soup lovers in general over here at Casa Stacie I figured it would get the thumbs up, but I was genuinely surprised at the excitement over this one. I’d like to imagine that this soup awakened some inner Lucchese in my boys, but in the end I think it’s just good soup. We loved Mark Bitman’s version and wouldn’t change a thing, so I’ll point you in that direction for the details.