A couple of weeks ago I described (in a tiny chestnut shell), my recent trip to visit a friend in Lucca, Italy. I spoke of our hike north of Lucca in the Garfagnana, where the landscape was dotted with chestnut hunters, and made a pasta dish using Michigan chestnuts when I arrived home. While at the Garfagnana park service station, I also noticed bags of farro – the locally cultivated spelt – alongside bags of chestnut purées and pastas.
The cooking in this mountain region is no-nonsense sturdy fare using indigenous ingredients, and I savored a soup made of farro, which I tried to recreate in this recipe. Soups such as this, which are often accompanied by local salami, dark bread and vegetables preserved in oil, find a place to ward off the chill at many a long, wooden hilltop table in this lovely Tuscan area.
I’ve written about farro a great deal and am happy it’s so easily found in Ann Arbor stores. In Tuscany, this whole grain is ubiquitous, I even purchased a bag at a gas station! Kale and sage are still thriving in winter gardens, ingredients quite lovely in this hearty winter soup.
Although Michigan has been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures of late, it seems like a good time to make soup. The panic buying felt by the coronavirus maelstrom is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve lived through the fallout of epidemics, famines and the scourge of the HIV virus, but the flames were never continuously fanned by instant media–non-stop overload. I jump each time my phone pings! I’ve bumped … Full recipe post »
Hunkering down into the folds of winter, my body begs a slowing down, a turning inward, a respite from the frantic pace of December. The seasonal change also brings a change in what I’m craving–– at the moment, soul-nurturing meal-in-a-pot soups. Below, I’ve mapped together some of my well-tested global favorites. (For dozens more, check out the drop … Full recipe post »
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enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
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