Photo: Randy Mayor
6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

This sounds like the ultimate health-food dish from the '70's, but today this hearty main-dish soup graces the tables of fine Italian restaurants. Start this soup early in the day, or the night before, as the beans and wheat berries (unprocessed kernels of wheat) require long soaking and cooking times.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

Step 2

Place wheat berries in a medium bowl; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain. Place wheat berries in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Step 3

While wheat berries are cooking, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, and 3 crushed garlic cloves, and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, 8 cups water, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Partially cover, and cook 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Stir in wheat berries, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Step 4

To prepare garnish, combine chopped parsley, cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chopped garlic. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons garnish.

Step 5

Note: Wheat berries can be found in most health-food stores and many larger supermarkets.

Ratings & Reviews

TsKitchen's Review

January 11, 2011
I agree with the other reviewer....this tasted like dishwater. I took their advice and used veg. stock instead of water but this still lacked flavor!!! Also, although I soaked the beans, the cooking time was inadequate so by the time the beans were done, the veggies were mushy. My friend made this recipe after I told her my woes and she used ham stock and added smoked kielbasa and loved it. I love the idea of using wheat berries and beans so next time I'll follow my friends advice.

dkmerola's Review

January 26, 2009
I was very dissappointed with this soup. Felt it tasted like dishwater. Tried adding 1 T tomato paste and a veggie bullion cube to pick up the flavor, but soup remained bland. There are so many better soups on this site