Get my newest recipe via email:

Instant Pot Farro and Hearty Greens Soup [vegan]

One bleary-eyed glance at the thermometer earlier this week sent me straight to the kitchen. Brrrrrr—below freezing. “I’m making soup, something rich and nutritious, with substance in every slurp.” This savory farro and hearty greens soup is a delicious cold weather favorite at our house—I’m betting you will love it as much as we do.

Farro and Hearty Greens Soup

A dip in temperature is a beautiful thing for mustard greens, collards, leeks, and chard, the mix of greens in this soup–Jack Frost does something chemically to bring out the sugars, making them sweeter, less bitter from the cold. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard that freezing kale (if you can’t use it right away, for example) improves its flavor. This week our farm share box included a mix of frost-sweetened mixed greens—into the soup they went.

greens for Farro and Hearty Greens Soup

Farro kernels have been waiting in our pantry for a purpose like farro and hearty greens soup. Pairing their toothsome texture and nutty grain flavor with greens—perfect. Robbie loves the pleasingly chewy way the little nuggets of farro work on his tongue.

With grains resembling wheat or rye berries, farro is an ancient hulled wheat originating in Italy. Cooking time will depend on which farro you use, whole grain, semi-pearled or pearled.

Cook the farro first, following the cooking instructions on your package. ***With the Instant Pot pressure cooker, cook only 1/2 of the prescribed stovetop cooking time!

I love the chewier texture, and nutty flavor of whole grain farro, though semi-pearled and pearled farro take less time to cook. The whole grain farro cooks into a soft kernel in almost 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, and more than 2 ½ hours regular stovetop! Imho totally worth it.

Farro and Hearty Greens Soup

Just one teaspoon of something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar, transforms soup from satisfactory to mouthwatering. Sumac’s fruity, slightly astringent taste does the acid-balance trick instead of lemon juice or vinegar. Sumac (soo-mack) spice, a berry that grows wild in the Middle East, balances the paprika and cumin as well, and nicely marries together the broth, farro, and hearty greens.

Farro and Hearty Greens Soup

Our family of two dined on farro and greens soup two nights in a row. For lunch one of those days, I stirred a generous spoonful of goat cheese into the hot broth. Cheese is not in the ingredient list for this soup—I’m telling you right now that a dollop of goat cheese makes this soup even more vibrant!

It seems my Indian summer wish is coming true—sunny days and cool nights. Take advantage of it—make hearty greens and farro soup.

Farro and Hearty Greens Soup kitchen notes:

  • I use whole grain emmer farro, which takes about 40 minutes in the pressure cooker. Pearled or semi-pearled farro have some of the bran removed, so they cook faster. (You can speed up whole grain farro cooking time by soaking the grains overnight. Test in 25 minutes to see if the grain is tender to your bite.)
  • You will find sumac a tasty seasoning.  Inspired by recipes on Kalyn’s Kitchen blog, I’d bought a jar–I found it at Whole Foods, nestled in alphabetical order, in with all the other spices.  You can buy sumac online through my Amazon link.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen, try cooking with an ingredient new to you!

Thanks for being here. To get my latest recipe posts and exclusive monthly newsletters, subscribe here.

For more vegetarian recipe ideas, peruse my Pinterest boards.

Find daily vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram! It’s my favorite!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a product via my link, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.

5 from 2 votes
Farro and Hearty Greens Soup
Vegan Farro and Hearty Greens Soup (Instant Pot and Stovetop)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Cook the farro grains first, either in a pressure cooker or stovetop. The pressure cooker saves a whole lot of time! The cooking time here does not include cooking the farro--farro cooking time varies according to what type of farro you use. Cook the farro earlier in the day, or the day before, and your soup will be on the table in 30 minutes.  Makes about 8 servings.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings.
  • 1 cup farro (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white parts only , halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise into half-moons
  • 2 ribs celery, including the leaves , chopped in ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 bunch mixed greens, or 1 variety of green, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped in 1-inch pieces (kale, mustard greens, chard, and/or collards
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Fine sea salt , as needed
Cook the farro:
  1. Rinse the farro grains. Place in the pressure cooker pot. Cover with about 2 inches water above the grains. If you wish, add a couple whole cloves of garlic. (see notes for stovetop cooking.)

  2. Lock the lid in place, making sure the steam vent is closed. Set the timer on Manual. For timing--follow the directions on your farro package and set the timer for one half the stovetop cooking time!)  Let the pressure come down naturally. When the valve drops, open the lid.  Drain and set aside. Wipe out the cooking pot. (If you wish, use the farro cooking water for some of the vegetable broth.)

Make the soup:
  1. Set the dial to Sauté. Heat the oil a minute, then add leeks, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir until the leeks have softened, 5 to 6 minutes. 

  2. Add the vegetable broth, paprika, cumin, sumac, and greens. Lock the lid in place, making sure the steam vent is closed. Set the timer on Manual and Pressure Cook for 3 minutes. Carefully turn the pressure vent to release the steam.

  3. Stir in the chopped cilantro and the cooked farro. Set the dial to Sauté and cook about 10 more minutes, until the farro is heated through.

  4. Taste and add salt, if needed.
Recipe Notes
  • I use whole grain emmer farro, which takes about 40 minutes in the pressure cooker. Pearled or semi-pearled farro have some of the bran removed, so they cook faster.
  • Cook your farro ahead so it's ready when you are. Cooked farro freezes beautifully!
  • If you cook more than you need for this recipe, freeze the rest and throw it in salads or another soup.
  • For regular stovetop cooking: Cook the farro according to the directions on the package. For the soup, sauté the leeks, celery, and garlic 5 or 6 minutes. Add the broth, paprika, cumin, and sumac. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped greens and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cooked farro and heat through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.