How to make it

  • Pick over and rinse beans. Soak in cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Alternatively, quick-soak beans. Drain well.
  • Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, drained beans, tomato, parsley, sage, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered, until beans are tender, 2 to 3 hours.
  • Discard thyme sprigs, then blend mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Add farro and salt, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until farro is tender (it will be chewy like barley), about 30 minutes. Stir in pepper and serve drizzled with additional oil.
  • Notes:
  • • To quick-soak, put beans in a 4- to 5-quart pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour before draining.
  • • Soup can be made 5 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Thin with water when reheating.

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