Farro Stew with Fennel & Rainbow Chard

Fresh from the farmers market - a stew that is good for the soul
By / Photography By Jenn Duncan | March 06, 2017


Cook the farro al dente in about 20 minutes. In a pan with a nonstick bottom, cook jowl bacon (without additional fat) and onion over medium heat onion until onion is caramelized and bacon fat rendered (about 5 minutes). Add celery, turnip, fennel, garlic, chard stems and spices; stir for 1–2 minutes before adding stock.

Bring to a gentle boil, turn low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add farro and simmer for another 10 minutes, adding the chopped chard leaves and parsley for the last 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Finish with fresh ground pepper and lemon zest and garnish with fennel tops. Serve with fresh, crusty baguette!

About this recipe

*If you want a vegetarian version, replace jowl bacon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and use organic vegetable stock!

Pair with: Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout! Southern Star is a brewery out of Conroe and their stout has roasted hazelnut and coffee notes with a touch of sweetness that would match the richness and smokiness but still be delicate enough for the vegetables.


  • 1 cup farro (or barley)
  • 4 strips Shiner Pork smoked jowl bacon, diced*
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, diced (chop the tops and reserve them)
  • 1 large scarlet turnip, diced
  • 2–3 gloves garlic
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stalks diced and leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 quart organic chicken (or vegetable) stock
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