Traditional Tuscan Soup

The theme for this South Arm Women Community Kitchen is how to use fresh herbs to flavour our food.

CookSmarts Guide with Herbs

Michelle shared the above guide from on how to use different herbs for different produce/protein and how to store the herbs. You can click on the guide to have a larger view.


Do you know the best way to store fresh basil is in a jar filled with some water on the countertop. They will last for 7 to 10 days.


The above Traditional Tuscan Soup uses rosemary and sage for flavouring. Typically, dried herbs have a more concentrated flavour. so use 1/3 of the fresh amount called for. Or, 3 times the amount to convert from dried to fresh herbs.

Dried herbs require a longer cooking time, whereas fresh herbs are typically added near the end of the cooking.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • 3 to 4 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 10 oz (300 grams) cooked pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro (or soaked overnight; wheat, spelt or barley grains would work here but require longer cooking time)
  • 4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • Parmesan cheese, optional


Source: Pedon Farro

Serves 4


IMG_3324Drain and rinse beans if using can ones.
IMG_3325Soak pearl farro in hot water for 30 minutes.
IMG_3326Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot and saute onions until lightly browned.
IMG_3331Add carrot,celery and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. If you use dry herbs, add in now or add fresh herbs almost at the end of the cooking.
IMG_3333Add tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes.
IMG_3336Add beans, farro and broth and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. You may need to add more broth or water if it’s too thick.Season with salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.

Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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