Becky Luigart-Stayner Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Farro Minestrone with Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Chestnuts

Spelt (called farro in Italy) is an ancient, unhybridized form of wheat that adds fiber to this soup.

Cooking Light MARCH 2006

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 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


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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 333
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 10.1g
  • Saturated fat: 3.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
  • Protein: 11.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 52.8g
  • Fiber: 5.4g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Iron: 2.9mg
  • Sodium: 638mg
  • Calcium: 125mg

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Farro Minestrone with Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Chestnuts recipe