Last month, chef Ethan Stowell cooked up a meal at his Belltown restaurant Tavolàta to showcase grains from Methow Valley's Bluebird Grain Farms. On the menu that night was an oxtail and farro soup with Lacinto kale and carrots that was so good, I asked for the recipe to share with Voracious readers (and, more truthfully, so that I could cook it for myself all winter long). Alas, the recipe is in Stowell's soon-to-be published cookbook, so it's off limits until fall 2010. But Stowell was nice enough to write a recipe for a similar soup, this one with lamb shanks and celery root.Lamb Shank and Bluebird Grain Farms Farro Soup with Lacinato Kale and Celery Root
2 lamb shanks
1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
1 bunch Lacinato kale, torn into 1 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Bluebird Grain Farms farro
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, minced
extra virgin olive oil
Place lamb shanks in a stockpot or Dutch oven and cover with two inches of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a slow simmer and cook for 3 - 4 hours. Check the pot occasionally to skim off any foam and top off the water as necessary to keep the shanks covered. Cook until the meat pulls easily away from the bone.
When the shanks are ready, remove from the water with tongs and place on a sheet pan to cool. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or chinoise and then skim the fat. You should have about two quarts of stock. If not, add water to make two quarts. Reserve. When the shanks are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are soft but not colored. Add the farro and stir to coat in oil. Add the stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes.
When the farro is nearly tender to the bite, add the celery root, kale and lamb shank meat. Simmer about another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. If making ahead, remove soup from the heat at this point and put in the fridge to cool. If serving immediately, add the minced parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve.