I know this soup is good because I was moaning with pleasure after every bite. Big, juicy chunks of slow cooked pork. Moan. Creamy, chewy white beans and farro. Groan. Flavorful, savory broth. Mmm. Crusty bread for soaking up every last lemony, cheesy bite. Dies of happiness. This slow cooker tuscan soup screams autumn and comfort food to me. It also screams easy, no fuss, dump-and-go crockpot dinner that will fill your whole house with porky aromas.
I’ll preach it now, like I’ve preached it in all my slow cooker recipes: PREP THIS THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Fill a big gallon-sized Ziplock bag with all the ingredients, (minus the quick cooking ones like beans, farro, and kale) and let it hang out in the fridge over night. When you wake up, throw it in the crockpot. That’s easy enough for anyone to do pre-coffee. It’s also easy enough to pawn off on other family members! Let that baby go low and slow all day long. When you walk in the door after a long day at work the smell will greet you from the garage. You will walk into your kitchen and be overcome with happiness. These kinds of flavors used to only come from Italian grandmothers.
- 2 lb pork shoulder
- 1 leek, white part only, sliced thin
- 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 sprigs thyme
- parmesan cheese rind
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, (I used the basil, oregano kind)
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- ½ cup farro
- 1 14-oz can navy beans
- 2 cups chopped kale
- Season the pork shoulder all over with salt and pepper, and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Add sliced leeks, fennel, carrots, seasonings, herbs, parmesan rind, lemon zest, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4.
- With 30 minutes left, remove the pork and shred with two forks. Add the pork back to the slow cooker.
- Also add the farro, beans, and kale. Cook an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice.