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Monday, November 12, 2012

Procrastination Soup: Farro and Dried Cranberry Soup with Kale

Apparently I am not good at multi-tasking my life. I can blog as long as I'm not teaching... but I seem to have some sort of blog-fail option that kicks in once I start teaching again... I'm sure it's poor time management on my part.

Well, that and the fact that I currently have 100 seventh-grade language arts students. It took a good two weeks in this position before I had the head-slap moment of realization that every time I had them turn in anything, no matter how small, it generated ONE HUNDRED items for me to correct.

It's a balancing act, I tell you. I need to see their work, and I need to spend time reflecting on each one individually, but if I'm not careful, my bookbag floweth over. Take this weekend, for example. I have two assignments that need to be corrected. Doesn't sound bad, until you multiply 2 x 100. You don't have to be a math teacher to figure out those numbers. Ugh.

I'm queen of the procrastinators. And I rationalize. A lot.

So I made soup instead!

A November kind of soup. Creamy and tangy and full of unusual ingredients! I'm pretty proud of this soup - it's all mine, from the farro to the dried cranberries soaked in raspberry vinegar. What's farro? Here's how I described it on facebook to a friend... "Farro is a grain like barley, but it kicks barley's ass. Chewier, nuttier. It's like brown rice on the best kind of steroids."

And I added sage, because sage is so very November-y.

And kale, because I'm renaming the blog Kale-a-Woman.

Farro and Dried Cranberry Soup with Kale
Serves 4-6

2 T. butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 T. chopped fresh sage
1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1 T. flour
1 c. farro, soaked in cold water one hour, then drained and rinsed
1 c. dried cranberries, soaked in raspberry vinegar (or balsamic) for one hour, drained and RESERVE the vinegar
5 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. chopped kale, washed, center ribs removed, and chopped small.
3 T. of the reserved vinegar from the cranberry soak

Rinse 1 c. of farro and then place in a bowl and cover with water to soak for one hour. At the same time, place 1 c. dried cranberries into a bowl and cover with raspberry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar) and set aside to soak for one hour.
Drain and rinse farro. Drain cranberries into a separate bowl. Reserve vinegar.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat until melted, but not browned. Add diced onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, around 8-10 minutes. They should be tender, but not browned. Stir in carrot and celery and sautee until tender, around 3 more minutes. Stir in sage and garlic and sautee until fragrant, around 30 more seconds.

Stir in flour, and stir and stir until flour is cooked and has lost its raw taste, around 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and the farro. Stir well and simmer around 30 minutes, stirrring occasionally, until farro is nearly tender.

Add in drained cranberries, and simmer 15 additional minutes, until cranberries start to plump up. Stir in cream and kale and simmer 10 more minutes or so, until everything is melded and yummy. Add the 3 T. of reserved vinegar and stir well. Taste and add salt and pepper, even more sage or more of the reserved vinegar if needed. Tweak the seasonings untl just right for you.


  1. Sounds AWESOME!! I will make it & they will eat it, no matter how much they protest the kale!!!

  2. Don't go crazy with the kale, it will overpower the sage flavor if you add too much. Chop it fine, and call it spinach. :)

  3. sounds good. wondering if you could post the calorie count per cup on your recipes