Try This: Chickpea and Farro Stew?>

Try This: Chickpea and Farro Stew

by Ellie Krieger  

I tasted a version of this dish at a neighborhood restaurant in Milan, Italy, and thought about it for weeks afterward. It was a warming, cozy bowl of goodness with a rustic-chic elegance that made it feel totally fresh and modern, an appeal I attributed to the pairing of chickpeas with farro, an ancient variety of wheat. I began to experiment with my own take on it when I got home. I soon realized it involved the same basic cooking technique as a familiar favorite, pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans). Here, though, the farro lends a delightful chew and subtly nutty flavor to the stew.

This dish is designed for the pearled or quick-cooking variety of farro, which cooks in 15 to 20 minutes. But you can use the unpearled kind instead, if you soak or parcook it beforehand. I have to warn you though, once you try this dish, you might catch yourself daydreaming about it after.

Makes 4 servings.


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas (3 cups), drained and rinsed, divided
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium canned or chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, diced
  • 1 medium-size carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pearled farro
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped (or ½ cup frozen)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place 1 cup of the chickpeas and ½ cup of the broth in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the remaining 2 cups of chickpeas, remaining 3 cups of broth, and the tomatoes with their juices, rosemary, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the farro, return to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig.
  5. Add the chickpea purée, then stir in the spinach and cook until it is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Serve garnished with the cheese.
The stew will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Per serving: Calories 380; total fat 12g (saturated fat 2.5g, monounsaturated fat 6g, polyunsaturated fat 2g); protein 17g; carbohydrate 51g; fiber 12g; cholesterol 5mg; sodium 770mg; total sugar 10g (0g added sugar)

Excellent source of: fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorous, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K

Good source of: calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc

From Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan, or Skillet by Ellie Krieger. Copyright Ellie Krieger 2019. All rights reserved.

Also see Cabbage, Chickpea, & Pasta Soup.