Why you should add farro to your shopping list. Plus, a recipe

Farro -- coined by the New York Times as the "little grain that could" (and for good reason). This grain is high in protein and fiber, is lower in gluten than wheat and is a great source of vitamin B. Whats more is that it is super versatile. You can use it as a substitute for brown rice, make risotto out of it, throw it into soups and stews to make them more hearty and even use it in salad. I can even imagine eating it as a breakfast cereal. Apparently this "superfood" --  such a cheesy term  -- originated in my native Egypt a few thousand years ago. For some reason, I never got across to trying it until I moved across the ocean to Cambridge, MA. I used it in a butternut squash curry stew and it tasted fantastic. The recipe is below.

Curried Farro Soup

From Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup butternut squash (or sweet potato if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used Madras)
  • 2/3 cup farro
  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 7 cups broth or water (I used water)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a large, heavy Dutch oven saute onions in olive oil (medium heat). Add butternut squash, salt and curry powder. Stir until the onions soften.
  2. After a couple of minutes or so, add the lentils, farro and water.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 50 minutes (or until farro and lentils are cooked). Add water as necessary.
  4. Season with salt to taste. I add red pepper here -- its not in Heidi's recipe, but I add red pepper to almost everything :)
  5. While the soup is cooking, put yogurt in a bowl and add lemon and zest. Add incrementally -- keep tasting and add as much or as little as you like.
  6. To serve: add some of the yogurt to each bowl along with a small glug of olive oil.

Serves 6