Farro is the Italian name for the whole grain of the wheat plant, though it usually refers to ancestors of modern wheat like emmer, einkorn, or spelt. These older varieties are slightly different in size and flavor, but when you come upon a recipe that calls for farro and don’t have any on hand, wheat berries can easily be substituted. Soup recipes are perfect examples, as farro or wheat berries are often used instead of pasta in Italian soups.
Some ideas for wheat berry soups:
Tuscan Farro and Bean Soup
Winter Wheat Soup
Mushroom, Lentil, and Wheat Berry Soup
Wheat Berry Soup with White Beans and Rosemary
Rustic Farro Soup with Sausage and Mushrooms
White Bean, Wheat Berry, and Escarole Soup
Mixed Vegetable and Farro Soup
Wheat berries have a special place in the lore surrounding Santa Lucia, or St. Lucy. Italians often eat a sweet dish called cuccìa for breakfast or dessert on her feast day, December 13th.
St. Lucy’s Day Cuccìa (Sicilian Cuccìa) recipe (includes milk)
Cuccìa (wheat pudding) (non-dairy recipe)