It doesn’t get much easier than this. You can make this fragrant, hearty stew in a crockpot or in a large soup pan, although you’ll have to stir occasionally if using the stovetop method. It took two hours to cook on high in the crockpot, but I’m sure you could let it go for four hours on low heat while you ran a bunch of errands. It holds well on a warm setting once it’s cooked, and it makes the whole house smell wonderful. I was worried that I might have overdone it on the spices, but it was perfect. I made some mango chutney to go with it, and warmed up some pita bread. My husband raved about it, so I guess I’ll be fighting him for the leftovers tomorrow.


½ cup farro

1 sweet white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp, curry powder

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. coriander

¼ tsp. cinnamon

2 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups water and 2 tsp. vegetable base

15-ounce can chickpeas, including liquid

5 ounces baby spinach

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

¼ cup chopped cilantro


1. In a crockpot or large soup pot, stir together the farro, onion, pepper, carrot, jalapeno, garlic, curry powder, cumin, pepper, coriander, cinnamon, and vegetable broth.

2. Cook on high for 2 hours.

3. Stir in the chickpeas with their liquid, spinach, and tomato paste. Cook for another 15 minutes, until the spinach is barely tender and the stew is thick and bubbling hot. Stir in the cilantro and taste for salt.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at