Spelt (called farro in Italy) is an ancient, unhybridized form of wheat that adds fiber to this soup.
1 cup uncooked spelt (farro, about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (about 1 small)
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups bottled chestnuts, halved
1 cup diced peeled butternut squash
1 cup quartered Brussels sprouts (about 5 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 ounce shaved pecorino Romano cheese
How to Make It
Place spelt in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above spelt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; set aside.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, pancetta, and garlic; sauté 8 minutes or until mixture is very fragrant and beginning to brown. Stir in broth and wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add chestnuts, squash, Brussels sprouts, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in spelt and tomatoes; cover and cook 10 minutes. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle evenly with cheese.