Comforting Cabbage, Onion, and Farro Soup

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 pound cabbage, savoy or green
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves. smashed and peeled
  • 1 healthy sprig rosemary or thyme
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup farro
  • About 4 cups meat or poultry broth, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Cut out the cabbage core and finely chop it.
  2. Cut the leaves into fine shreds, either by slicing through the chunk of cabbage or by separating the leaves, rolling them into a cylinder, and slicing crosswise into 1/8-inch ribbons (called chiffonade).
  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cabbage core, a pinch of salt, and a few twists of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften and become fragrant-but not at all browned-about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until the garlic is soft too.
  4. Add the shredded cabbage leaves and rosemary. Cover the pot and let steam for a bit to soften the leaves, then toss the cabbage to help it wilt and soften more. Cook, covered, until the cabbage is very tender and sweet, at least 30 minutes.
  5. When the cabbage is ready, stir in the vinegar. Taste and adjust with more salt or pepper.
  6. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat a glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the farro and cook, stirring constantly, until the farro is lightly toasted and fragrant, S to 8 minutes.
  7. Scrape the farro into the cabbage pot (or put the cabbage into the farro pot-whichever is bigger) and add 4 cups broth. Adjust the heat to a lazy simmer and simmer until the farro is tender and all the flavors are married, 25 to 35 minutes.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice. The soup should be very thick, but if it seems like it needs more liquid, add another 1/2 cup water or broth. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice. Serve the soup in shallow bowls, with a shower of Parmigiano and a drizzle of olive oil on top, with more cheese passed at the table.