David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesSoupTaste

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.

Grain Soup Soupe d'epeautre #TastesofProvence @CocoaandLavender

Soupe d'épeautre

A Provençal equivalent to Mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. This hearty vegetable and petit épeautre soup will surely satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


Soupe d'épeautre

  • 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

No-nead Bread

  • 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.
    Grain Soup recipe @CocoaandLavender
  • 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).
    Grain Soup recipe @CocoaandLavender
  • 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.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!


  1. blank
    May 25, 2020 at 1:39 pm — Reply

    Where can I purchase Petit Épeautre grain?
    We brought some back from France and am almost out of the wonderful grain.

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