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Rachael's Chicken, Sausage and Farro Soup

Rachael's Chicken, Sausage and Farro Soup


For the farro:

  • Salt

  • 1 ½ cups pearled farro

  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • A drizzle of EVOO

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage with fennel

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 ribs of celery, with leafy tops, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 leek, halved and washed, dried and thinly sliced

  • 1 small bulb fennel, quartered, cored and chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 quarts chicken stock

  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • One chunk of rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 small bundle flat lacinato kale, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 small rotisserie chicken

To serve:

  • Finely chopped white onion

  • EVOO

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Bring a couple of quarts of water to a boil. Add salt, farro, onion and bay and cook 20-25 minutes until just tender. Drain and drizzle with a little EVOO, keep separate from soup.

Meanwhile, cut sausage from casings. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add sausage and brown and crumble. Add carrots, celery, onion, leek, fennel and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Partially cover pot, sweat vegetables 10-15 minutes and stir occasionally. Add stock, tomatoes and parm rind, and bring to a boil. Wilt in kale. Remove skin from chicken and cutaway breasts, save dark meat for a salad. Pull or chop the chicken and stir into soup.

When you’re ready to serve, remove parm rind and separate half of the soup if not feeding a crowd and add half the farro. If you’re feeding a crowd, add farro to soup and heat through.

Serve soup in shallow bowls with raw onion, EVOO, cheese.