Italians will know this as farro pelato - and it is simply the farro grain that has had its outer husk removed. You might also see this sold as pearled spelt which is confusing as spelt and farro are two different things. Farro is Triticum dicoccum (emmer wheat) while Spelt is Triticum spelta and it's always best to check the packet for these names as they cook quite differently. Farro cooks quickly and shares similarities to rice while true spelt grain needs a long cooking time.
The dish I'm making is perfect for the cold weather - a vegetable soup and I've replaced the pasta I'd normally use with pearled farro. Unlike other grains, it doesn't need pre-soaking and will cook in about 20 minutes.
2 onions, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 swede, diced
4 medium potatoes, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 zucchini, diced
10 romano beans, sliced
1 cup pearled farro
sea salt and pepper
stock, chicken or vegetable
Put a knob of butter and a good drizzle of oil in a large pot and place on a medium heat - when the butter has melted, add in the onion and celery. Cook this slowly for about 15 minutes, not to colour but to soften.
While the onion is softening, you can prepare the rest of the vegetables and as for most savoury recipes, just use whatever vegetables you like.
Next add the carrot and swede and let them sweat for a few minutes before adding the potato and capsicum. Stir well and cook for another few minutes before adding the zucchini, beans and peas. Stir again and cover well with boiling stock. Finish off by adding the farro and giving the whole soup a good stir before letting it gently simmer until the vegetables have softened and the farro is tender.
Turn off the heat and cover - let the soup rest for a few hours (or even overnight) to allow the flavours to develop. Season with salt and pepper when you're ready to serve.