2 quarts Home-made or low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup pancetta, small dice
1 ½ cups onion, small dice
1 ½ cups carrot, medium dice
1 ½ cups celery, small dice
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced red pepper
1 diced zucchini
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 Tablespoons Rosemary (fresh)
1 Tablespoons Oregano (dry, or 2 tablespoons fresh))
1 Tablespoons Sage (fresh)
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
1 pound bulk Italian Fennel Sausage
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups chopped Kale or Chard, stems removed
1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup diced butternut squash
1 ½ cups cooked farro
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
¼ teaspoon black pepper
To prepare the farro:
In a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid toast ¾ cup farro in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until fragrant and lightly toasted; about 3-5 minutes over medium heat; add 1 1/3 cups water and bring to a boil; cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes.
In a large stainless stock pot bring the chicken stock, bay leaves, and crushed tomato to a simmer and keep hot.
In a large sauté pan brown the sausage in half of the olive oil over medium heat, breaking the meat into smaller chunks as you go. When the meat is nicely browned drain the extra fat off in a colander.
Add a little more oil and cook the pancetta and onions until translucent, scraping the fond (build up on bottom of pan) with a wooden spoon as you go. After about five minutes add the carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add half the tomato paste to each pan and ‘cook out,’ stirring, for 3-4 more minutes. Add the herbs and cook one more minute. Put the vegetables into the pot with the stock at this point.
Add the wine to each sauté pan and deglaze; boil off the alcohol for a few minutes and add the liquid to the stock pot.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pans. Sauté the
Peppers and zucchini until soft and lightly browned and add to the pot.
Crumble the cooked sausage into the soup-no chunks should be larger than a ½”.
Add the tomatoes, diced squash, chard, cooked farro and kidney beans to the soup, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer over low heat until the butternut squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and adjust seasoning if needed.
Optional: garnish with ground pecorino or parmesan, and a drizzle of good olive oil.