1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, outer layer removed, and finely diced
1 small zucchini, ends trimmed and finely diced
1/2 cup strained tomatoes (passata di pomodoro)
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups cooked farro (1 cup of dried farro makes about 2 cups of cooked farro)
Freshly ground black pepper
*Optional toppings include freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of really good olive oil.
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and fennel. Stir to coat, season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are sweating and the onion is translucent. Add the zucchini and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the strained tomatoes and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let it all cook for another minute or two.
Add the broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf, add the cooked farro, and season the soup as needed with sea salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
*To make the farro: In a medium pot, place 1 cup of dried farro. Cover it with water by 2 inches and let it soak for 20 minutes. Once it is done soaking, turn the heat on, add a pinch of sea salt, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 10-20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside until you are ready to add it to the soup.