Ina Garten’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup: ‘It’s Warm and Comforting on a Cold Day’

There are all different types of Barefoot Contessa soups but Ina Garten’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup is the celebrity chef’s pick for a cold day. Best of all, it can be prepared in advance and reheated.

Ina Garten’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup is ‘really hearty,’ according to the Food Network star

Ina Garten smiles as she stands at a kitchen counter wearing a blue button-down shirt
Ina Garten in 2018 | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Featured in Make It Ahead, Garten’s 2014 Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup is the ultimate dish for when temperatures drop. 

Make it in advance or let it simmer away on the stove. Ingredients such as farro, onions, carrots, and celery make it substantial enough to serve alone or alongside a Barefoot Contessa sandwich or salad. 

“This soup with mushrooms, pancetta, and lots of vegetables is really hearty,” Garten said. “I make it ahead, refrigerate it, and then reheat it, serving it with a dollop of crème fraîche and a swirl of Marsala wine.”

So what exactly is farro? Garten’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup recipe calls for the pearled kind. As she explained in Make It Ahead, farro is “a whole grain that is now available in most grocery and health food stores.”

Garten doesn’t like to serve Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup on its own

Sure, Garten’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup can certainly be served alone. But the Food Network star doesn’t like to do it that way. She is the Barefoot Contessa, after all. That means doing a little something extra.

“As the flavor melds soup gets better, but I always try and put something with it,” she told The Kitchn

The Modern Comfort Food author continued, sharing exactly what she likes to do to add another element to the soup. 

“Take a baguette and do big long diagonal slices — then grill it in the panini machine brushed with olive oil,” she said. “You can do a lot at one time, and then you have something crunchy with the soup.”

How to make the Barefoot Contessa’s Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup

Garten’s soup recipe might require more ingredients than the average Barefoot Contessa recipe but the instructions are straightforward. The cooking show host boils mushrooms and leaves them to sit for 20 minutes. 

While they soak she gets started on the base of the soup. She puts pancetta, onions, carrots, and celery in a saute pan, cooking them until tender. Then she adds garlic and farro followed by cremini mushrooms and a splash of Marsala. 

Next, she strains the wild mushrooms in cheesecloth being sure to save the liquid. Then she chops the mushrooms and adds them to the pot along with beef broth, herbs, salt, and pepper. 

After 45 minutes of simmering Garten mashes together butter and flour and tosses it in the pot. Finally, after an additional five minutes of simmering, she stirs in creme fraiche and more Marsala.

A note from the Barefoot Contessa: “Be sure you buy ‘pearled’ farro; regular farro takes much longer to cook,” she said in Make It Ahead.

RELATED: Ina Garten’s Cauliflower Soup Is a Sneaky ‘Healthy Vegetable Soup’: ‘It Tastes Rich and Velvety’