This Tuscan white bean farro risotto is warm, comforting, hearty and a healthy way to ring in the New Year. Made using Tuscan white bean soup, it’s packed with way more flavor than your typical risotto.
In 2012, my mom and I went on a Tuscan food based tour of Italy (scenes from Italy part 1 and scenes from Italy part 2). Having been to Italy a handful of times before and always going from big city to big city, I was psyched for a more localized trip outside of the tourist trap places centered around my favorite hobby: eating.
*This post is sponsored by Boulder Organic! Foods.
From a small, family-run balsamic vinegar company in Modena where we tasted 100 year aged balsamic, to eating some of the most amazing prosciutto and cured meats in a local man’s dining room to sipping Asti Spumante and nibbling on freshly made warm turrón straight out of the mixer, it was one of the best 10 days of my life.
And just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be more deliciousness, we pulled into a small rice farm on our last day for a tour of the property and a home cooked risotto meal on picnic tables outside.
Risotto has a special place in my heart. It’s the meal my mom made on special occasions growing up – always with dried porcini mushrooms and sweet sausage (I’ve made many of my own variations over the years like this buckwheat risotto with mushrooms and leeks and this butternut squash and porcini mushroom risotto) and if anything can trump pasta as my comfort food of choice (which is no easy feat!), it’s a hearty bowl of risotto.
It seemed to make an appearance on many New Year’s Days over the years in our house and with 2017 fresh and new, it’s immediately what I thought of when thinking up ways to incorporate Boulder Organic’s Tuscan White Bean Soup into a hearty, warm and comforting winter recipe. Stealing elements from that risotto lunch in Tuscany and my mom’s traditional recipe, this Tuscan white bean farro risotto was born.
Boulder Organic soups are all made in small batches, certified organic, gluten-free and always fresh. By itself, this is one of my favorites of their soups. It’s already warm, comforting and full of flavor. Completely delicious with some crusty bread, a big bowl and your favorite sweat pants but, might I say even better when used to make Tuscan white bean farro risotto.
The two things I love about risotto are the chew factor of good quality rice (carnaroli is the best kind, don’t be fooled by Arborio!) and the meshing of deep flavors as the dish builds. This farro risotto expands on both of those.
Using farro as the grain instead of rice, you get an even more pronounced chew (like in this blueberry farro yogurt bowl – one of my favorite healthy breakfasts this time of year) to each bite which I love and using the Tuscan white bean soup for the cooking liquid instead of just chicken broth like you’d normally do, you get a much deeper flavor profile in the finished product.
And of course, since it’s the New Year, I used chicken sausage to keep things light and added some garlicky kale greens on top for some veggie power. Mangia, my friends!
You can also grab this Tuscan white bean farro risotto recipe over on Food Fanatic!