Hearty Grain Soup with Petit Épeautre
According to David Scott Allen even in Tuscon, Arizona there are nights that call for warm hearty meals. The kind of evenings where you want to huddle by the fire and enjoy a homemade grain-based soup. This soup is made with petit épeautre a grain that is grown in the Alpes d’Haute Provence. It is similar (yet different) to both farro and spelt. David’s recipe is below. And, a bonus on his post a recipe for no knead bread.
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 2 Celery stalks
- 1 leek white and light green part only
- 4 medium carrot
- 1 cup épeautre (may substitute wheat berries or farro)
- 1 12 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup tomato purée
- 1 tsp Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4-6 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, water or a combination
- 3 cups sliced kale loosely packed
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 15-20 fresh basil leaves cut into slivers
- extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Parmigiana-Reggiano, for garnish
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 oz yeast (not rapid rise) 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- Olive oil spray
Preparing the soup
- Chop the onion.
- Slice the celery lengthwise and then cut into a quarter-inch dice.
- Slice the leek lengthwise in quarters and then slice crosswise.
- Slice the carrots lengthwise in quarters and then cut into quarter-inch dice.
- In a soup kettle, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, celery, leek and carrot.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and light golden brown – about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée and cook 2 minutes, or until it darkens slightly.
- Add the épeautre, beans, salt and pepper, stirring to mix well.
- Add 4 cups broth, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Add the kale and simmer an additional 20 minutes.
- Add the peas, stirring to combine, and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, adding between 1 and 2 cups of broth or water as necessary to keep the soup from getting too dry.
- Just before serving, add the basil and stir.
- Divide evenly between 6 warmed soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with slivers of Parmigiana-Reggiano.
Making the bread
- First thing in the morning, mix the flour, yeast, salt and water in a large bowl.
- It will be a raggedy, sticky dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place for the day (I turn on the oven for a minute and then turn it off, and I put the bread in the slightly warm oven for the day, especially useful for those who live in drafty antique houses).
- When you get home from work - or at least 8 hours later – put the empty Dutch oven with lid in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 450ºF (if you’ve used the oven to rise the dough, make sure you take it out before pre-heating it!).
- Spray a cutting board with olive oil spray and turn the dough out onto the board. Fold it once or twice and then let it rest, in a covered bowl, for 30 minutes while the oven pre-heats.
- After 30 minutes, the Dutch oven will be very hot.
- Carefully remove it from the oven and take off the lid.
- Scoop up the dough, keeping the seam side down and drop it into the hot Dutch oven.
- The dough will hiss as it hits the hot surface.
- Using pot holders, shake the kettle from side to side to even out the distribution of the dough.
- Return the cover to the pot and place in the oven to bake.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered until perfectly browned on top.
- Turn bread out onto a rack and let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.