More >

Farro Soup

Farro cooked with a ham bone reminds me so much of making split pea soup. In Umbria a prosciutto bone is used to flavor the soup, but any ham bone will do. I can only imagine how good this would be with sedano nero, black celery, but nevertheless, it is hearty, delicious, and close to Umbrian tradition. SERVES 4 TO 6


1 meaty ham or prosciutto bone

4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, peeled, cut into quarters

2 ribs celery with leaves, cut into quarters

1 medium onion, peeled

1 small bunch Italian parsley

1 cup Farro

Grated Pecorino cheese

 Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


Put the bone, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and parsley in a soup pot. Add enough cold water just to cover the ingredients and bring them to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour. Remove the ham bone with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the broth and vegetables through a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a bow. Reserve the carrots and celery.

Return the broth to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the farro and cook covered for about 30 minutes or until the farro is tender but not mushy; it should not disintegrate in the broth.

While the farro is cooking, remove the meat from the bone and cut it into pieces. Cut the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add the ham, carrots, and celery to the soup once the farro is cooked. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve hot. Pass the cheese and olive oil for sprinkling and drizzling on top of the soup.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN UMBRIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.

As seen in program 2506


  1. Jean's avatar


    I’m looking for a soup recipe from my youth I remember as tomato based with cabbage, beans, carrots and tiny pasta. It had beautiful robust favor that I’ve never found again. Do you have any idea what I’m referring too? Think it was a Sicilian recipe but not sure.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!