Today, I would like to introduce you to a traditional cereal from Garfagnana with a delightful recipe: spelt soup. In Garfagnana, spelt has always been grown in small plots. It is the basis of the main dishes such as soups or pies.

In 1996 the spelt from Garfagnana obtained the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), which establishes the definitive recovery of this cereal after a genetic erosion that got the cultivation at risk. Spelt in Garfagnana grow at an altitude between 300 and 1000 m / 984 and 3280 ft above sea level. This special wheat is cultivated according to organic farming methods.

Spelt Garfagnana

Spelt soup, delicious and healthy food

This soup is a healthy dish, especially if made with the emmer from Garfagnana. It has dietary properties because its fibers play a healthy action in the digestive tract. This grain is rich in starch, therefore particularly suitable for preparing pies. Its main use is as an ingredient in soups. Combined with beans and vegetables it comes as a simple dish but really tasty.

Spelt is also ideal for salads or risotto with porcini mushrooms. It goes extremely well with red wines. You can find peeled spelt grain also as a primary ingredient in the making of some pasta, bread, and biscuits.

spelt soup recipe

The history of the Spelt

Spelt plantations date back to 7.000 BC. It was really popular among Assyrians, Egyptians, and other ancient civilizations of the Middle East and North Africa. The place of origin of the emmer is probably Palestine where it grows spontaneously.

Probably nomadic pastoralists exported spelt in all the regions then known. In the Bible, it takes the Jewish name of Arisab. You find Spelt also in Lebanon, Libya, and almost everywhere in the Middle East, although with different names such as Taboulè, Salf, Kibbè.

Spelt Soup of Garfagnana, an ancient and healthy food

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Fall Recipes, Main Dish, Seasonal Recipes, Soups, Spring Recipes, Winter Recipes
Cuisine: Serchio Valley and Garfagnana, Tuscan recipes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Edoardo Pucciarelli


  • 0.66 lb spelt from Garfagnana
  • 2.2 lb potatoes
  • 1.1 lb beans
  • 3 leaves swiss chard
  • 1 slice Lardo di Colonnata or bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1 twig rosemary


  • Fry a slice of lardo di Colonnata or bacon with small chopped onion, carrot and celery pieces, and rosemary.
  • Add the chopped potatoes, the swiss chard leaves, and beans (previously soaked), and brown together.
  • Add some water to cover all the ingredients, as for common vegetable soup.
  • Add the spelt from Garfagnana, and make it cooking for 30 minutes, paying attention to stir all the time.
  • Serve in a soup plate, drizzling with some extra virgin oil.

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